Last night the Tooth Fairy came to visit my ten year old for the first time in a year. Her teeth losing days have slowed down and are coming to an end, but she and her little sister were excited to have Tali’s tooth fairy, Gloria, come to visit. Because each kid had his or her own fairy, Gloria hadn’t been around for awhile. T had lamented that maybe she didn’t even remember her.
So, in order to make sure that she felt remembered, I suddenly felt like it was important to go all out on Gloria’s behalf. I crumpled up a piece of brown bag paper, wrote a secret fairy message in light, barely perceptible scrawl, rolled it up tightly with a couple of George Washingtons and tied it with some embroidery thread. I even sprinkled a tiny bit of glitter under the pillow when I made the trade. It was adorable in a Martha Stewart meets Pinterest kind of way. I went to bed feeling smug and proud of myself.
This morning I was up before the kids and waited for T’s usual shrieking reaction to the tooth fairy’s visit. “She came, she came!” She was tired last night so I let her sleep in a bit, but when she woke up all I heard was her typical bumping around upstairs. Finally, she came down and I looked at her expectantly.
“Did she come?” I asked.
“Did who come?”
“The tooth fairy!” I exclaimed. “Didn’t you check?”
“Oh yeah,” she said smiling, and pulled out the two dollars from her pocket. “Thanks!”
“Don’t thank me,” I said as she rolled her eyes. “Did you read the note?”
“There wasn’t a note.”
“Yes, yes there was! Fairy writing is really hard to see.”
“Oh, Mom… I’ll look at it later,” she said and sat down to eat breakfast and finish her homework.
And so Gloria has probably pulled her last big tooth stunt for Tali. And while I spent a few minutes feeling like a total chump for making such a big deal out of this ritual we’ve loved in the past, what seems incredibly clear is that it was as much for me as it was for her. I’ve loved the excuse to make believe and pretend with my kids as a parent. And I understand that Tali has to pretend these things don’t matter that much in order to make her feel independent enough to grow up. It’s just that, being one of those grown ups in her world, I know that we all could use more of that suspension of reality.
So in the meantime, we’ll both care more than we let on, but I’m pretty sure that a little glitter under your pillow can’t be a bad thing.