Tonight I stealthily switched one of Bria's teeth for a dollar. Nothing incredibly new about the activity. I've actually done it quite a lot by now. I always pay a dollar, sometimes in quarters or even dimes and nickels depending on what's in my wallet when a tooth is lost. Tonight's tooth has been under her pillow for nearly a week--also nothing new in our tooth fairy's history. She's actually pretty delinquent most of the time.
But, there was something new, and I'm not sure I liked it.
Bria knows that the Tooth Fairy is me.
You go along as a parent, doing all of the things that your parents did for you, and you never really stop to think about what will happen when your child actually does stop and think and then question those things. Like the Tooth Fairy.
(Really? There's an actual fairy who goes around in the middle of the night paying children for their lost baby teeth which have been carefully hidden under their pillows?) Yeah. Kind of silly and gross and weird all at the same time.
But also fun.
And a bit incredible.
Which is why, on the day Bria lost her tooth she asked me about it.
"Mom? Is there really such thing as the Tooth Fairy?"
I have promised myself that I would always tell the truth about anything my kids asked me. Maybe not the entire truth, but enough to answer the question at hand. If they are old enough to ask, they are old enough to have an answer. So far, this theory has served me well, and while I've had to answer a few uncomfortable questions, the answers have been satisfactory for my children and life has gone on.
So, I told her the truth. Yes, there is a Tooth Fairy, and you're looking right at her. No, I never actually called her all those times to remind her to come and get your tooth already, it was just a way to cover up the fact that I always forget to get the tooth (or fall asleep before you do). It's just a fun way for parents to help children be excited about their lost baby teeth and earn a little fun money on the side. And you'd better not tell your sisters! It's a very special secret, and they don't know yet.
She wasn't disappointed at all. Only a little worried that now that she knew the truth she wouldn't get paid for her teeth. I assured her that of course the Tooth Fairy would always come for her teeth. Eventually.
And then she said, "But Santa's real. Because there is no way you and Dad would ever buy me all the stuff that Santa does! Of course HE'S real!!!"
And I let out a huge sigh of relief.
I don't like my kids getting older.