Why we don’t do the toothfairy, and never will

lost tooth
Image by ooh_food via Flickr

When our first little girl was born, my husband and I didn’t sit down and say, “Let’s teach them the opposite of everyone else.” Yet, when it comes to the tooth fairy, we’ve become rebellious. 

On the day her first tooth became loose, we hit decision corner.  Do we follow the pack and play tooth fairy, or create something else?  Come on, if you know us, you know that’s an easy one.  We often choose creativity over conformity.  But what to do?

We came up with the idea of Mommy/Daddy surprise.  We told our mini munchkin, we had asked the tooth fairy to visit other houses so that we could do Mommy/Daddy surprise.  I know it sounds ambiguous, but hang in with me.

As the tooth loosened and separated itself from her mouth, excitement burst forth.  We took pictures of the new hole in her mouth.  We cheered for her newest stage of growth, and she looked at us with unbridled joy.

“What kind of Mommy/Daddy surprise do I get?” she asked. 

We hadn’t yet decided.  To give ourselves more time, we followed tooth fairy tradition, and told her to place the tooth inside a bag, and lay it under her pillow.  We informed our kindergartener, she would discover the surprise in the morning.  I would be under her pillow, instead of her tooth.

At that moment, it occurred to us that Mommy/Daddy surprise could be anything we wanted.  She had no predetermined ideas.  After all, everyone else had a tooth fairy, but she had mysterious parents.

Over the years, we’ve given Sacagawea gold dollars, necklaces, small games, a drawing, a poem, or whatever else our minds dreamt up.  The mystery never fails to thrill, as each child finds a treasure under the pillow and wonders out loud, “How did you do that?”

My eldest has begun appreciating the journey through her sister’s eyes. She could realize the answers to long sought secrets of how the surprise gets accomplished.  For that reason alone, we’d keep up the family tradition.

But yesterday, when I had to have a tooth pulled, I saw another reason to continue.

My oldest put together a packet for me.  She drew me a picture and wrote a note.  She took some of her hard-earned cash and packed it into an envelope.  She handed it to me, while I held an icepack to my sore jaw.

“It’s a Rachel Surprise,” she said.

My heart leapt.  I never imagined she’d want to do such a thing.  Who knows, maybe when they grow older, the tradition will continue within their family.

I have to admit, twenty-five cents never looked so beautiful.

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