While I’m away, on vacation, I thought it might be nice to revisit some old friends. Or rather, old enemies. This post is Part One of the Tooth Fairy Chronicles, as originally published on Snickerpants.com.
Catfish lost a tooth yesterday. By my count, he has lost seven hundred and twelve teeth this year. Not a fortnight goes by where we don’t have some sort of Tooth-Fairy related emergency. I swear to God that kid has the mouth of a shark.
While the newness of “Yay! You lost a tooth!” has worn off for Brian and I, he still does his Christmas-Morning-Touchdown-Victory dance every time he pops a damn incisor. I can’t blame him, I remember being giddy to the point of insanity about the Tooth Fairy.
Last night, as I watched Brian wrapping the tooth in endless layers of paper toweling (so it would be easier to find under his pillow later) I thought to myself:
“If I don’t write a note about that, we are totally going to forget about the Tooth Fairy this evening – and that will suck, hard core.”
You can guess what happened next…
At seven this morning, I heard a heartbroken and downtrodden Catfish telling his father that the Tooth Fairy did not visit him during the night. He was so sad he wasn’t even crying.
Brian covered as best he could, saying it was probably because he lost the tooth while he was at school camp (which was true) and that She (the Tooth Fairy) probably thought he was still there (instead of coming home yesterday afternoon). While he agreed that this was plausible, Catfish was still mightily disappointed. He trudged upstairs to repeat his tale of woe to me. I backed Brian’s story and gave him a hug.
I felt like a complete ass.
I’m pretty sure Brian felt like an ass too. He takes these things hard.
Later on, I sat at my computer, trying to write but unable to because I felt like such a jerk about the damn Tooth Fairy. No sooner did I focus on my story when my mind wandered away. The general gist of these wanderings being: You know what would be super cool? If he came home and there was a note from the Tooth Fairy, explaining what happened.
At some point, the part of my brain that still believes in bullshit like the Tooth Fairy, began dictating a letter to me.
I wrote it out three times, once on the computer (to get the story right) and twice more on printer paper. The computer paper versions were frustratingly inadequate and I was losing my patience when the part of my brain that really likes finger-painting and glitter said:
“Ooooh, I totally know what we could do here….”
(I didn’t get a good picture of this part – which tells of how Finkmeister likes to steal the money from under kids’ pillows leaving only spiders and chewed up bubble gum instead.)
All the while, the part of my brain that likes puzzles just kept shouting “INVISIBLE INK! PLEASE OH PLEASE LET US USE INVISIBLE INK! I DO SO LOVE INVISIBLE INK!” …over and over.
Which is how the invisible ink got involved.
The invisible ink:
I would like it noted here that I did not do this because I am an over-compensating parent.
Okay, I may be over-compensating a little bit. But I think that over-compensation in this circumstance would include a lot more money and possibly some toys as well.
Truthfully, I did this for one reason: Magic.
Catfish really believes in heroes and villains and ninjas and pirates and evil spies everywhere. In a few years, he’ll figure out that Santa Claus has handwriting exactly like his mom and that the Easter Bunny uses the same damn plastic eggs every year. But right now, he’s only six and he’s still convinced that I can talk to animals, Katzuhiro eats evil snakes, Transformers are real and a dumpy little fairy comes in the night to leave a dollar under his pillow for each and every bloody tooth he loses.
Later on, he’ll put it together and realize it was all a big hoax – but that won’t take away the memory of a day when he came home to find himself at the center of a mysterious and heroic adventure.
I can’t wait for him to go get the mail.