It's been over a year since my girl has lost a tooth so when a tooth fell out of her mouth recently it was very exciting.
I remember the first tooth that ever came in and I remember the first tooth that ever fell out. Both equally thrilling to experience. And over the years my daughter's relationship with the Tooth Fairy has grown into a deep, loving, magical connection filled with letters, questions, gifts, wishes and on and on.
So, when this latest tooth fell out let's just say the Tooth Fairy was happy to be in business again. That's right, let's do this!
Now, in the past I never had to remind my girl to put her tooth under her pillow in her special fairy box or write a letter, but this time she was all ready for bed when I said,
Honey, did you leave your tooth for the fairy?
There was a pause, then,
She got up, got her tooth, put it in the box and tucked it under the pillow.
Aren't you going to write a letter?
Again, there was a pause, then,
She wrote a lovely letter telling the tooth fairy that it had been awhile and apologized for the cavity filled tooth and asked a few wonderful questions.
I felt happy.
And at 4 a.m. as I stumbled out of bed, grabbed the tooth and letter and began to answer back in my fairy talk -- using my opposite hand to write -- I felt that rush of connection. After all, I'm her Tooth Fairy. She's my tooth kid. We've shared a lot of teeth and love.
I tucked the written letter under the pillow along with the money and went to bed.
When morning came I waited for the usual excitement that came post fairy. You know, the yelling for me to come in and see what the fairy left her, etc.
Instead, nothing. She woke up, got up, started to get ready for school.
Uh, honey, did you check to see what the Tooth Fairy left you?
Again, that damn pause, then,
She went to the bed, lifted the pillow, pulled out the money and letter, read it, folded it up and continued getting ready for school.
Baby, did she write back? Did she leave money?
And then she looked at me. It was very brief, but long enough for me to know that something had shifted. Something, but she wasn't saying. Instead she read the letter to me, showed me the money and smiled.
I just know she knows and for whatever reason she doesn't want to say anything. I wondered, was she not saying anything because she didn't want to be disappointed or was she not saying anything because she didn't want to disappoint me?
Many of her friends stopped believing in the Tooth Fairy, Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny a long time ago. Not my girl. Up until this very moment she had fully believed. And I have loved every make believe moment of it.
And then, this morning as I was making pumpkin pancakes for my daughter I casually mentioned,
You know, baby, soon it'll be time to start thinking of a Christmas list for Santa.
Pause. Pause. Then,
I know, right. I will. But first I want to make a list of presents I want to get for other people.
For other people...
Maybe she believes a little, maybe she doesn't believe at all. What I do know is that for almost eleven years this Tooth Fairy, Santa Claus, Easter Bunny has had the joy, the pure delight of belonging to this little girl. And as long as I still believe we will all always be in my child's world... Sprinkling dreams.