On the clock
I can’t tell if she’s playing me.
My six year-old.
She lost a tooth – her eighth – at school the other day. The teacher put it in an old film canister (for you young ‘uns, film was something that used to go in cameras, and when you took it out, you put it in this little black container with a gray top) and Sage brought it home. She was a little worried the Tooth Fairy wouldn’t know there was a tooth in there, but I assured her the Tooth Fairy knows all.
And then I convinced her not to stick in under her pillow, since Sage seems to wake up every time the Tooth Fairy visits.
So the next morning I’m in the shower and Sage comes in. Very upset. Tears pooling in her eyes. Cheeks flushed.
“Mommy? The Tooth Fairy didn’t come!”
Somewhere, maybe even in that very shower, the Tooth Fairy smacked itself in the head.
When I toweled off, I told David. He said not to worry, the Tooth Fairy had just left a dollar.
“That was Daddy,” Sage said. “He left it while I was in the bathroom. Maybe the Tooth Fairy is on vacation. Mommy? Is there a Tooth Fairy?”
“What do you think?” I asked.
She didn’t answer. But I started to guess that she was doubting the whole operation. She told me Daddy always brings her money. She sees him!
Imagine my surprise when, right before bed the next night, she once again put her canister out.
“I’m going to try again,” she said.
Youthful optimism? Still wanting to believe? Hopeful she’d score another dollar from Daddy?
I wasn’t sure. I wasn’t sure at all.
She woke up the next morning, and when she found a dollar in the canister instead of her tooth, wonder had been restored.
But I know we’re on the clock.