Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Tooth be or not Tooth be!

There are 72 steps to growing up.  How do I know?  Well because I said so, and in this house I’m always right!  Right?  How did I come to this conclusion?  Well because the tooth fairy didn’t come last night.

Two weeks ago my 11 year old son lost a tooth.  He was pleased ot have lost the tooth, but announced there was really no need to put it under his pillow for the tooth fairy.  Great! This makes my life so much easier as he sleeps in a full sized loft bed which is 8 feet off the ground.  I don’t know that I could get to his pillow if I tried.  I certainly couldn’t find a tiny tooth under his pillow without waking him up.

Fast forward to today.  I was expecting a woman from church to come by to visit and get acquainted better.  When I awoke this morning and looked around my house, I realized there might be a little too much of me on display in the form of discarded shoes, dirty dishes, and wadded Snuggies on the couch.  Add to that a serious need for a good vacuum and a floor mopping, and I was in panic mode cleaning the house this morning.  Suddenly my cleaning rhythm was disturbed by the cutest darned 11 year old boy on the planet earth.   His large blue eyes were moist and his eyelashes were clumped with the moisture of tears. 

“Momma,” he whined, “I finally put my tooth under my pillow last night, and this morning my tooth is gone and there is no money.  The tooth fairy robbed me!”

My mind was racing.  Why hadn’t I been doing a check under the pillow every night just in case?    Where could the tooth be?    Can I get away with sneaking a dollar under the bed and accusing him of knocking it off in the night?  Is a someone really going to come over and stick to my kitchen floor because I was worrying about the tooth fairy business?  Why did I walk around all day yesterday sticking to the floor and not caring?  Why hasn’t my 11 year old figured this tooth fairy thing out yet?  Do I really want him believing forever?  How much will wisdom teeth cost?  And finally I blurted….

“ Look,” I explained, “ There are 72 steps to growing up and today it’s time for you to take step 23.  There is no tooth fairy… but you can get a dollar out of my purse”  OMG  What did I just say?!?!  Why is he looking even more distressed?  Could I have been any less sensitive?  Why did I say there are 72 steps and he was on 23?  Please don’t let him ask me to name the first 22 steps.  Or the last 50!   

My son choked back disappointment and tears for what seemed like an eternity.  He hugged me for dear life as though his best friend in the world had died.  And just when my heart couldn’t take it anymore, and my self loathing was reaching a peak, he cracked the faintest smile and looked up at me and said, “It’s OK I guess.  At least I KNOW Santa is real!”

I  did the only thing any self respecting mother would do in my shoes…. I smiled and said, “yep… you got that right!”


  1. Did the church lady make it? Ha,ha. A great story from a wonderful mom.

  2. Love your blog. You are so clever!


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