***Warning*** This post contains content that may not be suitable for young eyes. The potentially harmful material has been blacked out. Mature audiences can highlight the text to read the whole story.
At the splash park on a warm summer day, Maggie is walking around, looking concerned, fingers in her mouth.
"Is something wrong, Maggie?"
"My tooth hurts."
"Let me see." I gently inspect her tooth. It wiggles! "You have your first loose tooth!" Crap! What is our tooth fairy plan. Quickly, I text Brian, who is in Orlando for work.
Her face changes from worry to wonder to excitement. "I do?!"
The rest of our time at the park her excitement will not allow her to play. Wandering around, she mumbles to herself about her loose tooth and continues to test out its wiggliness.
In fact, the testing continues for the next few hours, as do the questions and recounting the story of the tooth so far.
"At first I was worried because my tooth hurt, but then I was excited when you told me it was a loose tooth." "How long does it take for the tooth to fall out?" "When will it fall out?" "I was eating an apple, and then my tooth just got loose." "I bet next time I go to school everyone will be surprised that my tooth is loose." "Mama, it is getting wigglier and wigglier!!!" "When it falls out, I put it under my pillow and the tooth fairy brings me a surprise." Good. Nothing specific expected!
At dinner, the first bite is painful. Maggie decides that it is best to chew on the other side so as to avoid the loose tooth. Dinner progresses as usual. I finish first and begin cleaning up.
"Mama?" Eyes big as her dinner plate, Maggie is holding her tooth.
"Wow! That was fast." Shoot! I don't have any cash! I knew I should have gotten some when I was out.
Kaleia leaves her spot to give her sister a tender congratulatory embrace.
We take pictures, send messages to Papa and Grandparents. Somehow in the midst of it all, the tooth is lost, literally. We wonder if Maggie ate it, if Trudy ate it, or if it was accidentally thrown away. Since she will have nothing to put under her pillow I start to console Maggie (and wrack my brain as to how to handle the tooth fairy with no tooth. Should Maggie leave a note?), but she surprises me with "It's okay. I have lots more teeth to lose that I can put under my pillow." The simple joy of losing a tooth apparently outweighs the prospect of receiving a surprise from a magical being, for now. But as the mama I really want to have the actual tooth for the tooth fairy. I comb the crumb-laden carpet under the dinner table searching through tiny hard particles for the one that is my daughter's tooth.
"I found it!" Little feet come running.
We make a tooth fairy pouch and safely tuck it under her pillow. The morning reveals some coins and a note in place of the tooth.
The coins were quite the let-down until they were counted to reveal a total of $1!