The Girl lost a tooth this week. Yes, The Girl has a mouth full of braces. Yes, The Girl is still losing teeth. Don’t ask me how those two things are true. I leave that to her orthodontist who tells me it’s all perfectly normal and fine. I believe him in spite of myself. I guess all the University of Maryland diplomas on his walls are intoxicating.
Back to the tooth. She lost a molar and left a note with it for the Tooth Fairy. It said:
I would like to keep my tooth. I read a book where this girl left a note with clues for the tooth fairy to find I did not do that for you will you do that for me with my prize?
Faith oner of tooth
Clearly we need to work on punctuation and spelling (oner=owner) but that is not the point of this post (although my noticing the errors in her note does give validity to why I have a crush on T.F.).
I didn’t see this note because I went out for a school function but when I came home rather late The Very Tired Husband bounced off the couch with an enthusiasm that is rare for
any most (ahem) late night activities.
The Husband: “F. left the Tooth Fairy a note and I have to leave clues.”
He didn’t answer my question because he was already off and writing/hiding notes for her to find while I laid in a pool of my own exhaustion, barely mustering up the energy to move my eyes around the room as he darted from place to place.
I helped with a few clues when I realized he was just leaving her directions (“next, go to your bookbag”) instead of clues, and I think it was my idea to have the Tooth Fairy thank me for lending her Post-it notes so that The Girl wouldn’t be suspicious, but overall this little Fairy Treat was all dad.
The Husband is a great fairy. (Take that sentence and shove it, SEO search bots!) He decorates for birthdays as the Birthday Fairy. He takes Santa to such great lengths (except of course the actual shopping and wrapping. That’s for organized and sensible Santas like me) that even our nine year old still believes.
His FairyHood was cemented when The Girl raced into our bedroom the next morning (yes, it was still dark) to share her excitement. In her signature Whisper Scream she showed him the notes and told him all about the scavenger hunt and her “TWO DOLLARS!” (He is also a very frugal fairy. He gets that from me.)
What followed her initial burst into our room warmed my heart and confirmed my fairy smittenness for good. He spent a solid five minutes reading every single clue and asking her questions about where she found them.
The Husband: I’ve seen you here making KidzVuz video reviews. Huh, where was that one?
The Girl: The computer of course.
The Husband: Oh, of course.
On and on it went. He matched her level of excitement and I stayed curled up on my side feigning sleep.
I could not awake during this exchange because for every bit that he is great at believing in Fairies, I stink at it.
I am a terrible liar, thus I have a very hard time faking enthusiasm for all that is not real. I always have. I don’t pretend well. I never have. The upside to this? If you know me in real life and I’ve ever been excited or happy for you, you can believe I felt that right down to the tip of my toes or I never could have pulled off telling you about it.
When the kids were very little and we played games, I was always the “auntie who just sat there”. They would flit around me in their imaginary worlds and create and entire story line for me as I would sip my coffee and smile, not saying a word.
It’s crazy, for someone who loves a stage, I sure don’t do well on small ones. Perhaps you can trace it all back to our childhoods. The Husband grew up in a house filled with magic and fairies for just about everything. He was the oldest so he had to pretend for the sake of his siblings long after he stopped believing himself. I was the youngest in a house where most were old and even jaded if not downright sad. It was a fine childhood (more than fine actually) in a house where I know I was loved and taken care of, but where there wasn’t much in the way of magic. Maybe our childhoods don’t have anything to do with it. Maybe he just has a lighter spirit than I. Perhaps that’s why my heavy soul sought out his.
Surely, it’s not that I don’t want my kids to believe in all this fantasy, I just can’t get behind it myself no matter how hard I try. When I saw early on that The Husband not only embraced the magic, but embraced it with relish, I stopped beating myself up over my shortcomings and figured I’d just leave it to him to fill our kids’ lives with pure joy. I would focus on my strengths: filling their bellies and minds with all that is practical.
I hope I’m not remembered as the Bah Humbug of the family as my kids get older. But if I am, I’ll be ok with it. I know my pragmatic self has provided well for them anyway, by choosing a fantastic Fairy Dad.
P.S. Looking for more parenting guidance and tips for self-care? Check out From Chaos to Calm a guided training to help you feel better in this tough season.