The truth about the “Tooth Fairy”

I’ve been thinking a lot about childhood myths and truths, and I’ve come to believe that if you give a child time, they will come up with their own truths (in other words, we don’t always have to interject our own adult cynicism). Anyway, my six year old discovered his own truth just last night as he strolled in my room and sat on my bed with a sigh and said:

“Mom, I know the truth about the Tooth Fairy.”

My ears perked up. “Oh really, what do you know?”

“I just don’t understand why she would want my tooth and why she leaves money under my pillow.”

I kept listening; I wanted to see him work this thing out himself.

“Plus, how does she get in the house? If she tries to break in at night through the window, then the alarm would go off.”

“That’s true,” I said, (laughing on the inside), “that’s true.”

“So how does she get in? And how does she find my tooth in the dark without waking me up? I don’t think the Tooth Fairy is real.”

“O.k.,” I said, not knowing what to say next.

We both sat in silence for a moment. What does a parent say after a child discovers that kind of a truth? I liken it to when we adults found out about the ills of the housing market. These things are delicate matters. If handled in the wrong way, these truths can be devastating. We like to believe in the myth, but somehow the truth always seems to find its way out doesn’t it?  Not that the “Tooth Fairy” is anything like what we saw in the housing market scandal, but there is one thing they both interestingly have in common…money. Anyway, I digress.

Back to my son—he used a bit of his own kid logic to conclude that in our efforts to maintain security, we’ve either locked out the Tooth Fairy, or she doesn’t exist. I imagine he thought, “Why would a mysterious fairy break into our house just to leave me money under my pillow?” Exactly! We’ll have to see what he concludes when there’s money under his pillow next time he loses a tooth. Oh, we parents play such tricks on our kids. And while I struggle with my kids believing in some of this stuff, I also think you just have to have a little fun with it all. I guess I can’t help but perpetuate the magic by following through with aspects of the myth. After-all, I believed in all that stuff as a kid, and I turned out o.k.; he will too.

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Categories: Parenting

2 Comments on “The truth about the “Tooth Fairy””

  1. December 16, 2011 at 10:49 am #

    Our daughters found out about the tooth fairy by walking in while hubby and I were watching “Grown Ups”. . . the part where Selma Heyak spills the beans. They seemed OK with it and hubby and I didn’t really make too many comments. We’re going to see what happens when our 7 year old loses her tooth, in the next few days!

    • December 16, 2011 at 11:23 am #

      That’s great, sometimes it’s best not to say anything isn’t it? Sometimes I just don’t know what to say because I’m not ready with an explanation. :) I keep thinking my son is going to catch me too one day, but he hasn’t just yet! Let me know what happens with your 7 year old. This stuff is too funny!

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