29 December 2009

teeth...

i think i've got to tell lill. which makes me all sorts of sad.

not the weepy why me wailing sort of sad. more the why does the magic have to end sort of sad.

she found an envelope of uncle sugar's. inside was a rather...pointed...letter from me written a few years ago. or maybe it was from some other raving lunatic who wrote in lower-case and used an impressive amount of dot dot dots. what can i tell you? the man likes my writing...even when i'm...pointed.

also in that envelope were about twelve tiny teeth.

she came to me and stood smack in front of me. i found baby teeth. her little lip quivered and tears puddled and she started giggling at her own crushed heart.




where? i was clearly buying time.

dad's side table.

oh. well. those are his. {what?!}

those are his teeth? tears drying. hope blooming.

no. but they're his and i can't tell you why he has them. that's his story to tell you. {what?!}

does it have something to do with his job? her eyes widened as more hope bloomed.

yes, lillie. i whispered in a low official-sounding monotone. your dad punches little kids and knocks their teeth out. sometimes he comes straight home after roughing up a toddler and doesn't get a chance to drop off the teeth at his office. well done. you've cracked the case, encyclopedia brown.

she laughed and i laughed and she stopped asking questions. maybe because she wanted to enjoy one last christmas as a little kid.




not the kind uncle sugar apparently deals with in his job, but just a regular little kid. who still believes in magic.

i'll probably take her to lunch this week. just us. wish me luck.

on a side note? why on earth would she connect twelve baby teeth in an envelope that her dad keeps next to his bed with. his. job. {sigh.} this is going to be one long lunch.

oona patterson? genius. for sure. see more of her art on her blog.

23 comments:

The Lil Bee said...

There's a little Santa in all of us. That's what you tell her. It'll soften the blow. My grandma broke it down to me this way when I realized there were teeth in a pill jar in my mom's chest of drawers, and that Santa's Merry Christmases looked just like my mom's Merry Christmases...all lower case and cursive. I was an Encyclopedia Brown, just like Lil:)

PS: The more vague you keep it, the more she can interpret it as she sees fit. She's a smart one, and I think she'll figure out that if she keeps believing, she gets more presents each year. So there's a little Santa in all of us... :)

Krissy said...

miss bee has it down! couldn't agree more with her :)

krista said...

i agree with bee...vague is good. so much better than the way i found out.
i was snooping, found a christmas present i had really really wanted hidden in my mom's stash that i wasn't allowed to look at.
christmas morning, it said from santa.
case blown wide open. by my own hand. i was totally disappointed in myself.
(i never told my mom, though, because i was afraid it would lessen my chances of getting good presents. resourceful, even then.)

i cannot wait to find out what she thinks her dad's job is...

agirl said...

Oh. This is sweet, but the loss of magic is always a little sad.

I remember when I found my teeth and realised that the toth fairy and my dad were one and the same. They had always been kept on a little shelf in a cupboard, and one day I found myself suddenly tall enough to see them. Oh well.

(Despite that, I still believe...)

Brandi said...

You know, I wasn't too upset when I found out about the tooth fairy. my parents played it like there was an arrangement with the tooth fairy, they acted as her representatives and mailed in teeth to her every now and then (she's awfully busy, you know). that lasted for an extra two months or so. i kept pressuring them to send the teeth away and they didn't. even then i was a crazy organizer.

A-M said...

You tell your darling how totally unreliable the tooth fairy is anyway. Just last week, she left a much longed for 2nd lost tooth languishing in the 'Pirates tooth box' beside my little ones bed for days and then finally remembered it in the middle of the day. Good luck with your heart...... and hers. A-M xx

Jill said...

If you can believe it, the librarian at my munchkin's school read the 1st grade class a book before break started about the tooth fairy being "the last of the fairies to go" ... and that it's really just the parents leaving envelopes at night.

I was heartbroken to hear this ... but my husband was even worse. He wants me to have a "talk" with her...

susan said so said...

No matter how many times my (now grown) children asked if Santa was real, my answer was always the same: He is if you believe in him. It was always enough, and then *poof* they were taller than I, and just knew, without me ever having to be the one to burst that bubble.

The tooth fairy was another matter. My daughter was almost 3 when her brother lost his first tooth at 5. With great glee I explained he process (tooth under pillow, fairy comes in while you're asleep, trades tooth for money...)

My son was delighted.

My daughter? Well, she was TERRIFIED! She burst into tears and said, eyes wide in horror, "A FAIRY SNEAKS IN OUR ROOM WHILE WE'RE ASLEEP? DOES SHE TOUCH US?"

(Watch Mommy backpedal...)

"How big is she?" asked almost-3.

"Oh, tiny -just this big!" said Mommy, forefinger and thumb held fairy-distance apart.

And then, my tiny girl summoned up all her almost-3 yr old courage, held out her tiny hand, palm up, and said "What I'm going to do is, when the tooth fairy comes in the room, I'm going to hold out my hand like this. And when she sits on my hand, I'm going to SMASH HER, like THIS! (slamming hands together with a force that could crack nuts.)

I don't remember how it ended, but I do know I never stressed the realness of the tooth fairy after that.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m72GNRrvc88

xox,
Susan

la la Lovely said...

Sending luck your way..... your lunch will sweet and special and you will have the right words.. you always do. I'm a little nervous about where i have been putting things lately... like teeth and Santa's wrapping paper. I better keep an eye out.
xx Trina

mrs. darling said...

i don't remember how old i was, but i found an empty ring box full of tiny teeth in my mom's bedside table. i was secretly relieved because the idea of the tooth fairy frightened me.

but santa? i still believed in him until a rotten girl in the 3rd grade spilled the beans one day at recess. i still pretended to believe...you know, to humor my parents. i don't remember being sad, but feeling special that i knew a secret that my sister did not. i loved the feeling of power it gave me, i felt special and so adult.

my favorite part of your post was where you said you would take lil to lunch this week, just the two of you. somehow that, a special lunch date alone with her mom, seems full of much more magic than santa could ever be.

goodniteirene said...

mrs darling took the words right out of my mouth. a grown up girl lunch with mum, where you girls share grown up 'secrets', and maybe sip grown up girl teas or hot chocolates is just as enchanting as mr claus. this time with YOU is the true fairy dust for lillie.

kathleen said...

this is totally unrelated to your post (which i love, by the way. and i keep thinking about that fairy door....) anyway, just cracked open a bottle of rose (yes, at 4pm) and of course it made me think of you.

Richie Designs said...

nooo don't tell her! she'll figure it out later ;)

maggie, dammit said...

I distinctly remember a very similar (and very awful) Christmas night when a brokenhearted eight-year-old girl sat among the ruins of wrapping paper and sobbed her every gut out.

I still can't even think about it.

I think we just have to remind ourselves those years of magic are worth it. They are, right?

Happy new year my sweet, sweet friend.

Kimberlee said...

LUCKKKKK!!! - I love it. Paragraph three? killed me..... you are the best.... xx

Callie Grayson said...

oh, such a hard thing to have to discuss with lill!
I will be thinking of you all week, that magic will remain as miss bee mentioned.:)

what a week for teeth, my mum gave me a small box this christmas with my teeny tiny first tooth!

oh, and obviously in your last paragraph uncle sugar is not a dentist!!
I was giggling hard by this point!

xx
callie

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