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?”.
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.