It finally happened. After months of anticipation, complaints to the dentist, and impatient aggravation while listening to her friends tell stories of the riches they had received, my daughter finally lost her first tooth a few weeks ago.
It was a relief to all. There was no real concern about her oral maturity but I had gotten tired of listening to her whine about it. She had convinced herself sometime last winter that her tooth was loose, refusing to believe otherwise despite all evidence to the contrary. A day of celebration and endless picture taking ended with a successful extraction of the cast off skeletal remains from under her pillow, two dollars carefully inserted in it’s place. Another rite of childhood had been passed.
We didn’t have to wait nearly as long for the second tooth. We should have, but we didn’t. Instead I woke up to be greeted by a bloody faced ghoul, the gap in the center of her nightmarish grin now twice as wide. She claimed to have not used any foreign objects to facilitate it’s removal but I could swear that tooth wasn’t loose the day before. I’m since moved my toolbox to a higher shelf in the basement.
Two more dollars were placed under her pillow, eventually added to a small Frozen purse that alarmingly may now have more money in it than my own wallet. My concerns that her original chompers might outlast her belief in the Tooth Fairy alleviated.
It’s a belief that I’ll confess to having conflicting feelings about. Last Christmas I had to come up with some very elaborate ( OK, overly elaborate ) stories about Santa Claus and the tools that he uses to deliver toys and fight the forces of evil in order to satisfy her questions. There was sadness, melancholy about how quickly childhood innocence fades, but also a little bit of pride. I secretly liked the fact that my five year old was intelligent enough to begin wondering about the reality of a jolly old fat guy flying around the entire world in a single sleigh over the course of a night.
Now, obviously fairies make a lot more sense than St Nick. Along with ghosts, dragons, extra-terrestrials, and non-obnoxious Yankees fans, I’m not willing to completely discount their existence just because I’ve never personally seen one and I don’t want her to either.
I would have liked to have seen a bit more skepticism on her part though, at least some attempt at a rudimentary trap set. I can understand not wanting to upset a little creature that is gong to be bringing you money, but I can’t help but wonder where the line is between believing in magic and just being gullible.