While I always had reservations about the existence of Santa when I was little, and was a little concerned about carrying that tradition forward with Michael, I've always loved the myth of the tooth fairy.
It's a strange little myth if you think about it. You lose a tooth, stick it under your pillow, and a fairy comes along to collect it and give you money in exchange. Who was the first person to realize that you should stick your tooth under the pillow to begin with? I picture some kid looking at his lost tooth, scratching his head while contemplating the tooth. Then, the light bulb goes off and he thinks, Ah yes, under the pillow makes sense.
Also, why would a fairy collect teeth? What does she do with them all? Is that what fairy dust is made from, powdered teeth? Ewww!
It's just the kind of ridiculousness that I go for.
Michael's first tooth started to wiggle on a Friday. I tugged on it for him, but it wasn't budging. The next day, it was a little looser, so I gave it a tug again. Nothing. Same thing the next day and the next. I was so excited that he was about to lose his first tooth that I ended up joking around with him that "I WANT YOUR TOOTH!" Everyday. He'd collapse into giggles, but that stubborn little bugger would not fall out. By the next Friday it was so loose that I'm pretty sure it was being held in by magic.
Partly, I was excited to see Michael with that adorable little kid toothless grin. But, I was also excited because a lost tooth would mean I get to be the tooth fairy. How awesome is that?
So I started considering the logistics involved with being the tooth fairy. How do you slide a tooth out from under a sleeping child's head and replace it with money? How much money should the tooth fairy leave? What's the going rate in the neighborhood? I even did a little tooth fairy math, 20 teeth * X dollars = Y dollars plugging in different values for X. (Yes, the tooth fairy is a geek. What do expect from someone who collects human teeth?)
Saturday morning I checked Michael's tooth and there was no way that it wasn't coming out. I grabbed a tissue and gave a little tug and it popped right out. I was surprised at just how tiny it was. Did that itty, bitty little thing really cause all that trouble when it was coming in? How many hours of sleep did we lose over such a small thing?
We wrapped the tooth up and placed it in a jewelry box. Michael was so excited, he didn't even wait until bedtime to tuck it under his pillow. He grabbed the box from me and ran upstairs right away.
Throughout the day, we talked about what the tooth fairy was going to bring him. Michael assured me that she didn't necessarily have to leave money. Maybe she would bring a toy or something fun. "Oh really? I didn't know that". It was so much fun.
At bedtime I double checked to make sure the box was there. I told Michael it was just to make sure nothing had happened to it, but it was really so I would know exactly where it was. I was a little concerned about waking him up, so I let him sleep for several hours before sneaking in and making the tooth/money switch. Andy had grabbed one of Michael's stuffed animals, so I had that in my hand in case Michael woke up. Then, I'd have an excuse for being there. But I didn't need it. The tooth fairy pulled it off without a hitch.
The next morning, Michael was so excited to find $2 under his pillow. Once again, within the same weekend, he was touched by a little magic. He also noticed that the tooth next to the lost tooth was loose, so I suspect the tooth fairy will be paying us another visit soon.
While Michael and I were sitting on the sofa chatting about it, he told me that he had actually caught a glimpse of the tooth fairy.
"Really, what did she look like?" I asked.
"She had wings like a butterfly!" He replied. I just smiled. I'm pretty sure that the tooth fairy was wearing PJs and may have smelled like she had just had a glass of red wine, but I like the idea of having butterfly wings, so I'll go with it.
Now, the tooth fairy is wondering if maybe the next time she shouldn't leave behind a little fairy dust of her own.