These adorable babies! Two completely different and opposite tooth fairy stories. The children went to public school for a short period of time. They went to a small school in Lerna, Illinois, through second grade for Cody and kindergarten for Shelby. We moved to town and they attended Carl Sandburg for third and first grade. After that, we taught them at home.
Let’s start with Shelby. This was while she was attending Lerna school When a student lost a tooth, they got to keep it in a “tooth necklace”. This was a plastic tooth on a necklace that opened and closed. The tooth was placed inside and the date of loss was written in marker by the teacher. Shelby witnessed many people receive these and wanted one more than anything! It was so important for her!
I can see her little face just like it was yesterday. She was so adorable and all smiles! I would pick them up from school and we all three would chat all of the way home. When we got home, at some point, (always outside in the yard) Shelby would saunter up to me, all smiles, and say, “Mom.” I would bend down to her and she would shyly step side to side with her hands in her pocket and say, “I lost a tooth today.” I would exclaim excitedly and ask to see it. She would be so darn excited and reach in her pocket, giggling, and start to hand it to me, pausing to make sure we could take it to school and get one of those necklaces! When I reassured her we would take it the very next morning and get one, she would hand me her tooth. What a sweet, cute, little girl. She would hand it to me and wait. I so hated to disappoint her. Apparently, she could tell by the look on my face and I would look at her and she would look at the ground and back up at me and shake her little head side to side and ask, “No?” Evidently, she would search and search on the playground and find her “tooth”. She would take such care to not lose it and bring the tiniest little white rock home to me! Those little rocks do amazingly resemble a tiny little tooth. How heartbreaking for me but apparently more heartbreaking for her. She tried at least twice a week to show me those little rocks and hope they would pass for a tooth. Not only did I think she was so adorable, I thought how smart of her to try this. I felt so sorry for her. I wanted her to enjoy recess instead of looking for “teeth.” I would reassure her that they would come out when they were ready but she could hardly stand the wait. Of course, she did finally lose her tooth and get her necklace! She was so proud that I let her wear it for days. Haha. We did make a production of putting the tooth under the pillow for the tooth fairy to take and, of course, to leave a nice little amount of money in return for the tooth. I sure do miss those days. I love her so very much and always see that beautiful little girl face when I look at her. It does not matter her age, she will always look like my little baby girl in my eyes.
Now for a whole different perspective with Cody. We moved to town which is why we had to switch schools. Cody was in third grade now. Shelby had lost another tooth and of course would not stop going on about it. When I was tucking Cody in to bed that night, he asked me to stay a little longer so we could talk. This was an enlightening and heartbreaking talk. I had never ever thought of what Cody told me.
He basically told me he knew there was no tooth fairy. He told me not to worry that he would not tell Shelby because she seemed to like the whole thing. This is what hurt me and I had never thought of before… He asked me why I would want my child to think that some “thing” would come into his room late at night and get under his pillow and take something away. He asked me if I had thought about how this might scare some child. Wow! I was speechless. Here I am feeling terrible, explaining to my son how I had never thought of that and telling him that my parents did it and I was fine with it. I told him that I only thought it would be fun for them and had not thought of all of that. Then I, of course, apologized to him. He told me that it was okay and he was not mad at me. Wow! I had no idea. He was, however, smart enough to mention that I still should be paying him so Shelby would not wonder about it and perhaps not believe. I had to be careful to not laugh at that part. I do not think I will ever forget this story and how he spoke to me. He was sort of chastising me but yet being gentle so as not to hurt me. Such a sweet little boy. I have yet to this day heard a child say something like that about the tooth fairy. I am still impressed that he even came up with that. What a thinker he was! He clearly had put a great deal of thought into this. When I think of this, sometimes I still wonder how long he dealt with his thoughts and how hard it probably was for him to come to me at such a young age. I still feel sorry sometimes and hope that I did not scare him. Who knew?
The second item he brought up was Santa. He, in a very matter-of-fact way, told me that he knew there was no Santa and to not worry, he would not ruin this for Shelby either. He then added his little sermon to me. (We all thought he would grow up and be a pastor, but….) He proceeded to tell me how Santa was not part of Christmas and God would not have some person be able to do all that Santa was suppose to do. He said that God would not give someone powers of that type. Only God can see all. He actually began asking me questions about it and expecting me to answer … Why would God want someone to have those powers? Why would I think that? Why would I want them to believe that? Thankfully, he let me off of the hook saying that he got that it was fun and he would not ruin it for Shelby, but he knew this was not true and could not possibly be true. To quote a movie here…..”I am filled with chagrin.” Haha. I sure do miss those days. I love him so very much and always see that beautiful little boy face when I look at him. It does not matter his age, he will always look like my little baby boy in my eyes.
In fact, they will always be my babies!