This morning, as my son slowly made his way down the stairs, he stoically said, “It worked.” His first words of the morning were to inform me that the Tooth Fairy had visited during the night, and that she had deposited a dollar bill under his pillow. The evening before, he was not so casual.
While we were shopping for a new pair of Converse All Stars, my son noticed that his wiggly lower tooth was missing. It was in his mouth during dinner, but based on the gaping hole in his smile, the tooth was now gone. The family then searched for the tooth all over the shoe store’s navy blue carpet, and despite some promising leads, all we found were bits of popcorn and broken Cheerios. Without thinking of the repercussions, I said, “You probably just swallowed it with your pizza.”
As the words slid out of my mouth, my son’s face shifted from a look of concern to one of genuine horror. He said in a half whine, half tear your heart out, you’re a bad Daddy cry, “But what about the Tooth Fairy?!”
Fortunately, Stacie came to the rescue, as she piped in, “Don’t worry. One of the girls in my Girls on the Run team swallowed her tooth. She just wrote a letter to the Tooth Fairy explaining that her tooth was not under her pillow because it was in her tummy, and would the Tooth Fairy be okay with that. Sure enough, when she woke up, the Tooth Fairy had left her a dollar. Why don’t we just write a note to the Tooth Fairy when we get home?”
My son still made me go back to the restaurant and ask the waiters if they had seen a tooth on our table or lying on the floor. They hadn’t. But with the comforting words of his mother ringing in his ear, he just said, “Okay. Thanks.” He then proceeded back to the shoe store with me in tow.
Before going to bed, my son showed me the sealed blue envelope on which he wrote his note to the Tooth Fairy. I thought to myself, “Why would you write that message on a sealed envelope when there is nothing in the envelope? A piece of paper would do just fine.” But unlike my earlier thinking allowed gaffe, I kept that comment to myself. Instead, I said, “That’s awesome, buddy. I think that’ll work.”
As he lay in bed, I’m sure my son had concerns about whether or not the Tooth Fairy would come. Would she leave a dollar? Or would she leave a note saying, “I’m sorry, but I’m a Tooth Fairy, not a Note Fairy”? Would it work? But, in the morning, when he rolled over, and slid his hand under his pillow, I know that a big smile flashed across his face. I know that, because I know what it’s like to lose something you care about. I have been concerned before falling asleep. I have had uncertainty and questions running through my head when the outcome was in someone else’s hands. And, I know how it feels to wake up, and find out that it worked. It feels good.