Friday night was one of those nights were tiredness of the week had already an effect on me. With all the new things for remote learning and my daughter not skilled enough to do it all without me, my brain was fried. Editing one YA novel with the intention to release it in three weeks, writing the sequel of a previous novel (not related to the one I'm editing), blogging, updating my author's social media, continue my 30 days health challenge, deal with family issues, people's issues, feed a never-sated family, and all those other things that I do daily and you probably already read about (Yeah, the good stuff!), I was just hoping to crawl into my bed to a restoring beauty sleep.
But that Friday, in the middle of trying for 25th time to get access to CANVAS... unsuccessfully, my daughter lost a tooth! It was for sure her last baby tooth ever! She was a little scared and we thought she had indeed lost that one like a year ago. But underneath, a new stronger tooth was already making its appearance. Jokingly, we told her she was like a baby shark whose teeth keep falling and growing new stronger ones.
She went to put her tiny tooth into a ziplock bag and under her pillow, jumping in excitement because the Tooth Fairy would come that night.
After watching a movie all together that night, I put them to bed, took a bath and hurried back to my daughter's room to make the mandatory exchange: tooth for some cash. Yes, I'm that kind of mom. I always work hard to keep my kids' illusions alive. They'll discover the truth on their own sooner or later, or because another kid tells them the ugly truth -like happened with my son. But if their dreams and illusions are in my hands, I'll do whatever it takes to keep that fantasy alive.
Well, that night things didn't go as I planned, or as I had always executed them. Sneaking up into my daughter's room, I was grateful to see her already asleep. Quickly, I grabbed the ziploc and hid it in my pocket. Then, I put the money close to her pillow, but her fan had another plan. In terror, I watched as the money was almost falling behind the bed, and I only thought my daughter would be so disappointed when discovering the tooth was gone and nothing was left for her in return for her precious memories.
I tried to be quick and grabbed the money, but when I was almost done with the rescue mission, my daughter opened her eyes and asked me: "Mom, what are you doing?"
Thinking fast, I tried telling her I was just checking on her, but she stretched in her bed, looking for her tooth, finding emptiness and me with money in the hand.
She was stunned and I was appalled. I wanted to say I was just checking on her, but she knows I hate lying, besides, the evidence was right there, and she is to eager to see evidence, just like her mommy.
My heart sank and I started singing her a song to go back to sleep. That was the best thing I could do.
"Don't tell me you're the Tooth Fairy?" -My inquisitive daughter asked.
I was just silent while a tear ran painfully in my face. For 9 years I have managed to keep my daughter's illusions alive and the last tooth... I messed it up. Should I feel bad? Miserable maybe? I just felt pain. Soon, my daughter closed her eyes, gave me a little conspiratory smile and went back to sleep. And I did the same.
That night, despite the tiredness of the week, I couldn't conceive falling asleep. I was torturing myself for having destroyed my daughter's childish illusion of the Tooth Fairy. Does that made me a bad mom? I asked myself. Will my daughter be heartbroken in the morning?
Next day, I woke them early because we had to make some errands. While they dressed, I did the same. My son found me in the living room and told me my daughter said she had been foolished all her life. He laughed at this, dismissing its importance. And he just said the wisest thing: "Talk to her. She surely understand."
Then, he remembered me how I always kept his illusions alive and one day he was just meant to discover I was behind all that magic, because that's a part of growing old.
Heeding what my son told me, I waited for my daughter to come out of her room into the living room. Her face displayed a mix of surprise and other emotions hard to decipher and I invited her to my home-office to talk.
Before any word was said, my daughter hugged me. Then, she said: "Don't feel bad. I don't feel disappointed, just surprised. But I should have known."
"I'm so sorry you had to see that." -I hurried to apologize.
"I don't!" -She said. -"But why? Why you pretended to be the Tooth Fairy?"
"Well, my job as your mommy is to help you believe. If your illusions are with the Tooth Fairy, I'll help you believe until you decide otherwise. I just want you to keep your illusions and hopes alive."
"And what about all the other things? Three Wise Men, Easter Bunny? Unicorns?" -She wondered a little worried.
"I guess that depends on what you decide to believe. Is good to have dreams and illusions and fantasies. And I also wish for unicorns to be real." -I answered with my heart.
She hugged me hard and told me how much she loves me. That meant the world to me at the moment.
Some people will downplay their kids' illusions, but I think is very healthy for them. To grow with hopes, with illusions. Of course, all those things change when the grow up, but the beauty of their childhood will always be with them.
After all, I didn't destroy my daughter's illusions and fanciful beliefs, I just gave her the understanding of mom been with her, supporting her dreams, no matter what.
What else can we expect?
Love to hear your thoughts! Were you caught mid-act in Christmas or like me, dealing tooth for money? Share your experience with us!