The tooth fairy

I remember the first time the tooth fairy showed up at our house.  Allie was six, and she came home from kindergarten bearing her precious cargo – ready to put that tooth under her pillow.  And she was excited, too, because her friend Autumn had informed her that the tooth fairy always left a dollar for every year old you were.

What?

My tooth fairy had never heard that before.  He (or she) had always worked under the principle of leaving a quarter or two.  At least that’s the way it was in the house where I grew up.  But what was I to do?  How was I going to explain to Allie that the tooth fairy loved Autumn more than her?

So in the morning there were six dollars under Allie’s pillow.  Looking ahead and seeing where this path was taking us, I quickly informed Allie that the dollar deal was only for the first tooth.  After that it would only be a quarter per year.

A little while after this incident I was sharing with Autumn’s dad how he – er, the tooth fairy – had cost me quite a bit of cash.  He got a really funny look on his face and then informed me that the tooth fairy had NEVER given Autumn a dollar per year.  I couldn’t believe it!  I had been scammed by a six-year-old.

Over the years the tooth fairy has been a frequent visitor at the Wood’s house.  We’ve gone through a lot of quarters.  There have been many nights of sneaking into the bedroom to leave a treasure.  There have been many mornings that have started with a delighted kid showing off the prize that he or she had found under her pillow.  (And there were also those unfortunate times when the tooth fairy forgot.  Boo!)

Sadly the tooth fairy no longer frequents our home.  The magic is gone.  Just yesterday my youngest lost a tooth.  When he was asked what he did with it he shrugged his shoulders and told us that he had thrown it away.  I almost hoped he would put it under his pillow.

At the same time I am somewhat grateful that we have moved on.  That’s because Allie – who is now sixteen – will be having her wisdom teeth and another molar extracted today.  Think about it.  On the dollar plan that would be $80.  Even on the quarter plan it would be $20.  But maybe she could use the encouragement.  She’s kind of scared about it.  And I don’t blame her.

I’ve tried to encourage her, but I keep remembering when I got my wisdom teeth out.  It was a bad trip.  They told me I should have them removed so they wouldn’t give me problems later on.  And I listened.  Now I realize that that advice is akin to having someone tell you to have your toenails removed so that they don’t become ingrown someday.  (For the record, Allie is having trouble with her teeth.)  Anyhow, the extraction process was fine – it was the anesthesia that did me in.  They must have given me enough to stop a charging rhino in its tracks.  It was days before my head was clear enough to function again.  But I keep reminding Allie how much more advanced we are in the anesthesia field today.

In conclusion, I’m feeling bad for my daughter today.  If you think of it, would you say a prayer for her?

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