On Christmas Eve, just before the kids went down for their long winter nap and, according to NORAD, Rudolph’s red nose was leading Santa north from South America, our 12 year old lost a tooth.
Already excited, the lost tooth and resulting bloody grin infused the boys with even more energy. It took some time to settle down as Mom and Dad worried that Santa – and now the Tooth Fairy – would fall asleep before the kids did.
Then I heard someone gasp, “What if Santa and the Tooth Fairy crash into each other at our house?”
And all I could think was….
Another 15 minutes of adrenaline as young brains ponder the possibility. Another 15 minutes before Santa and the Tooth Fairy can sleep.
When my kids lose a tooth, they always want to keep it. And since they lose a bunch as they are learning to write, we have a tradition of writing a note to the tooth fairy, as practice, asking to keep it as a treasure.
My youngest wrote his last night with an elaborately illustrated, colorful scene – his zzz’s rising to the ceiling from a red pillow with a giant winged tooth fairy decked in blue. His note read:
Deere, tuth faree
I lost mi tuth
Pev dote tak mi tuth.
In the first days of summer, as my son transitioned from kindergarten to first grade, he lost his first tooth. In fact, he yanked it out of his mouth after we claimed it still needed a few more days of wiggle time. No fuss.
“Only a little blood, mom.”
And in the time-honored tradition of our family, he wanted to keep his tooth.
So his first summer homework was to write the tooth fairy a letter, which captured this brief moment in time when losing teeth and learning to read and write are things to celebrate.