Monday, September 17, 2007

The Tooth Fairy

Maren has brought our family through a lot of firsts. This year's early notables included preschool, self-haircuts (read “Three Crazy Days”), and playing with neighbors. Since we got to Texas, she has also made us “parents of school-age children” and learned how to dive and swim at the bottom of the pool, not just on the surface. And back in July, in the middle of the moving craziness, she lost her first tooth.

It happened the morning Justin left for three days for the job interview that ultimately led to us moving to Texas. Of course. Other than being bummed that Dad wasn't around for the big moment, I was excited to get out the small ceramic tooth-shaped box that had been given at her birth. So we carefully put it in there and set it on her dresser to await the Tooth Fairy.

Later in the afternoon, I saw her taking the ceramic box outside to show her neighbor friend. We discussed how easy it would be to lose that tooth, and how careful she needed to be in showing it off. But sure enough, 10 minutes later, she came back in crying that the tooth was lost. I went out and verified that it was indeed gone. What a bummer for her, but even more for me because of how symbolic the whole event was, and because Daddy hadn't gotten to see it. And mostly because the Tooth Fairy now wasn't going to come.

I did try to work out a way to write a note to the Tooth Fairy telling her where the tooth was, or some such thing, but being in the middle of moving craziness as well as a three day single parenting stretch, we just never got around to it. Maren didn't understand what she was missing, so she moved on pretty well. After a few days sitting on the counter, the tooth box got dropped on the floor and broken, then repaired and put back in the dresser to await the next use.

In the last 10 weeks that new tooth has grown almost all the way in, but we have had no sign of any other teeth being loose until a few days ago. Then this past weekend we finally got another chance at bringing the Tooth Fairy to life.

The second tooth came out Friday night while I was out for girls night. Justin was on the scene, he helped her put the tooth in the box and leave it out. And it turned out that not only did the Tooth Fairy's sister-in-law (who works at a bank) have a brand new George Washington gold dollar handy, but it also fit just perfectly in the little box! Maren was ecstatic the next morning, and has vowed to treasure that coin forever. Now if we only knew what to do with the tooth....

It was such a relief to have it all go down perfectly this time. Feels like we've passed our own milestone as parents. It is hard work being not just a hero but also half a dozen mythical characters, but once in awhile you get a glimpse of how it is sooooo worth it!

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