I was going through unapproved blog comments just now and ran across a comment from someone I’ve not heard from before, Gidge from Live From the Wang of America.  I checked out her blog, and ran across a gem I just have to share.

In her post, The Near Death Experience of Tinkerbell, Gidge describes the emotional chaos brought on by the simple question of a child- “Is Tinkerbell REAL or not?”.

I feel her pain.

I recently had my own moment where the very lifeblood of Santa, the Easter Bunny, and in that particular case, the Tooth Fairy all rested in the hands of my 10 year old. You see, with the divorce going on, I am now staying on the couch in the kids playroom, and all my stuff is in the closet in this room. The kids are fascinated by all the clothes, books and personal items they previously had no access to when I could keep two doors between them and the things I didn’t want their little hands on. (Right now, all that stands between them and my possessions are a bi-fold closet door I may or may not remember to lock; I’m bad about that.) At one point a few weeks ago I must have forgotten to lock the door, and my oldest comes to me with something in her hand, asking .”Mommy, who’s tooth is this?”.

Ohshitomghowdidshefindherbabytoothomgwhatdoitellher??????????????????????????

That precarious balance of magic and growing up threatened to topple before my eyes, and I had no idea what to do. She is 10, and at that point most kids have left behind the notion of fairies and Santa like others leave behind outgrown rain boots. On the other hand, I have been given the gift of a child who sees the magic in life so many others are quick to cast off. She still thinks Pokemon really are out there, and if she wishes hard enough, she might get one, a REAL one, all her own one day. She believes in Santa, and the tooth fairy, and that if you make a birthday wish, it has to come true. (Birthday wishes ARE special you know.) On the other hand, she is 10. Being a June baby, she is younger than most of her friends, some of whom are far too old for their age thanks to older siblings and parents who have no issue with things like movie ratings and parental advisories. She has been told by these friends that magic does not exist, but still she believes.

Until that moment, when she confronted me with the evidence that could end it all. I had to make a decision- tell the truth and let it go, or lie, and let her keep those childhood illusions for just a bit longer.

With an absolute straight face, I looked her in the eye and quite simply told her the tooth she found had been one of my baby teeth. The doubt and worry in her face turned to awe as she thought she held a bit of mommy-history in her hand, and then relief as she realized those nagging doubts in her mind had been unfounded.

Right or wrong, the magic lives on.

13 Comments on I Do Believe in Fairies, I Do! I Do!

  1. Gina
    August 4, 2008 at 5:55 am (9 years ago)

    I went through it at Christmas. My son was also one of the “late believers” and it was traumatic. I told him the truth because he looked me in the eye and said he really needed to know. I could see that he already knew and just wanted the confirmation (plus I had a suspicion that maybe someone was giving him crap about it). And even though it wasn’t really a surprise, he was really sad.

    Reply
  2. Mr Business Golf
    August 4, 2008 at 6:29 am (9 years ago)

    I told both of my daughters when they found the jar I was holding their teeth in that I bought them back from the Tooth Fairy the night he came by to give them their fifty cent pieces and then I would start telling them the story about when I was a boy and the tooth fairy was only giving out quarters. They got bored and moved on to never mentioning the Tooth Fairy again… Now my daughter is pulling the same thing with my grandson who is Just FIVE and is wanting to know why he is Just Getting a Dollar for his tooth and can he buy them back since he REALLY needs them to eat his macaroni and cheese. Chip off the old block.

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  3. mimipz5wjj
    August 4, 2008 at 6:50 am (9 years ago)

    Oh, it breaks my heart one day my kids won’t believe. My oldest is 7 and someone at school told him Santa isn’t real (sometimes living in the Bible belt sucks). He told me that he knew Santa did exist because we saw Santa on the Norad Santa tracker.

    And my mom has a fairy circle — the fairies leave the kids gifts in the summer. I hope he continues to believe for a little while longer… just so his little brother can enjoy the magic as well.

    And I would have lied too!

    Reply
  4. Amanda Petite Mommy
    August 4, 2008 at 6:58 am (9 years ago)

    I’m glad you were able to convince them to believe a little longer. We had a little problem last year and it will be sad when they no longer believe in the “magic”.

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  5. Jill
    August 4, 2008 at 8:45 am (9 years ago)

    You couldn’t ask for a more perfect reaction, could you? Good for her!! Keep the magic alive!

    Reply
  6. MammaLoves
    August 4, 2008 at 10:07 am (9 years ago)

    It may have just been an interim step. She’ll let you know when she’s ready not to believe anymore. And speaking of that…I still want to believe. I want to believe in magic.

    Reply
  7. Summer
    August 4, 2008 at 11:29 am (9 years ago)

    You are an amazing mom.

    Reply
  8. Tara R.
    August 4, 2008 at 12:58 pm (9 years ago)

    I was faced with this sort of dilemma when my oldest was about the same age as your daughter (mine will turn 19yo Wednesday). s
    Some of her classmates were telling her Santa wasn’t real. I asked her if these friends still got presents from Santa, she said no. I asked if she still thought Santa was real and if she still got presents from him. She answsered yes to both. She and her 15yo brother still get Santa gifts. There’s nothing wrong with letting our kids keep a little of their childhood magic. Nicely done.

    Reply
  9. Amanda
    August 4, 2008 at 1:05 pm (9 years ago)

    Tara R sounds just like my mom. At 28, I still get Santa gives. She says if you don’t believe then you don’t reap the benefits! I don’t want to chance it!!

    Reply
  10. feefifoto
    August 5, 2008 at 9:06 am (9 years ago)

    Somehow my eight-year-old sophisticate still appears to believe in the TF. For once I’ve been able to keep a poker face and tell convincing stories; either that or she’s an extremely talented actress.

    Reply
  11. Gray Matter
    August 6, 2008 at 7:36 pm (9 years ago)

    Oh my God, I swear the exact same thing (AND SAME RESPONSE) happened about 6 months ago. It was then and there that I realized “Jesus, why AM I saving a boxful of baby teeth…it’s just creepy.” I also think children’s ability to suspend disbelieve is directly linked to their ability to get money, toys and gifts from said creature be it fairies or bunnies.

    Reply
  12. Katie
    August 20, 2008 at 2:03 pm (9 years ago)

    My cousin’s three children (ages 10, 8 & 5) were talking about the tooth fairy the other day. The 8 year old told me that she thought her mom was the tooth fairy. The ten year old replied in a very matter-of-fact tone, “Yeah right – like Mom would just GIVE us money for no reason!”

    Reply
  13. Lawyer Mom
    August 28, 2008 at 7:11 pm (9 years ago)

    Uh, just wondering, but did your kid wonder why the fairy tooth mother didn’t have YOUR baby teeth? I’m just sayin’ . . .

    I am the biggest slack ass. My kid’s tooth fell out at a friend’s house during a sleep-over. Friend’s mom remembered to leave $$ but forgot to take the GD tooth. So she gave it to my son the next day with a note of explanation: “Sorry, the toothfairy forgot this! Here you go.” Thanks a lot mom-of-friend, but what am I supposed to do now? So we put it under his pillow the next night and I promptly FORGOT about it. Next morning, there was the tooth and there was my son exclaiming, “MOM! The toothfairy forgot my tooth AGAIN!” Slack ass, slack ass, slack ass I am. What to say now?? “Uh, she didn’t forget! She never came last night. Once she visited you at Maddie’s house, she was on to the next tooth. She’ll always come back if she forgets to leave you money (I’m planning ahead, you see, for next slack ass relapse). But coming back for a forgotten tooth? Nah. She’s pretty busy.”

    Note to Gray Matter: God did I feel better after reading your comment. I saved the first two teeth and after that, basura. I don’t really like little dead baby teeth. Gruesome.

    Reply

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