Losing a first tooth is a big deal. How big of a deal? In our family, it’s gargantuan. Real news. Significant enough for mom to write about it for the newspaper. Worthy of phone calls, photos, Facebook posts.
My daughter has been waiting for this momentous occasion with anticipation. As she felt it drawing near, she proudly demonstrated how wiggly her tooth was, speculating about how it would feel when it finally detached from her head.
“I hope it falls out at school,” she told me. “Do you think it might fall out today?” It dangled, bobbing on her lip as she talked.
“Yes, it might fall out today.”
I volunteered in her classroom later that day. She chewed on a slobbery tissue.
“Mom,” she whispered, her breath tickling my ear as she talked, “it’s bleeding.”
When I picked her up from school, the deed was done. The tooth was stored in a tiny pink treasure box, storage appropriate for such a valuable item. Such a milestone of a moment.
Then the prep work for the tooth fairy began. Where do we put the tooth? (We have a tooth box that was a baby gift just for that purpose.) She wrote a nice note to the fairy, declaring her love for the tiny courier. In it, she asked the fairy to draw a picture of herself.
Then big brother interjected. “I don’t believe in the tooth fairy,” he said, adding, “I believe in the tooth goblin.”
He’s been testing the tooth fairy lately, hiding from my husband and me that he even lost his teeth. Placing them under his pillow to test. Creating a pint-sized trap for tooth fairy lore.
“She’s not real,” he announced. “She never gets my teeth.”
I explain that she’s not clairvoyant. She has to be notified in order to do her job.
“How does she get in?” my daughter asked. And we decided to make her a fairy door. A cardboard door to hang on her wall that opens to a magical fairy land. With cardboard and markers, scissors and tape, we set to work. The door opens to a construction paper sky with cotton ball clouds. A land where anything can happen.
While we worked, her brother told us about his tooth fairy alternative, the goblin who enters rooms through a special portal and is notified by living toys. He steals the teeth, then makes tiny weapons from the teeth. His world developed and grew, and his imagination poured from the mysterious portal.
“Every kid has one in their room,” he said, pondering the possibilities.
In the night, the fairy came and drew her picture. And the magic was real in our house.
Overland Park mom and 913 freelancer Emily Parnell blogs at mom2momkc.com.