For those of you out there that scoff at the notion that there is magic in this world, I am here to tell you there is. I know this for a fact because my eight-year-old told me this morning while we were getting ready for school.
She had recently lost her sixth baby tooth, and for the second time in two years the Tooth Fairy missed collection and payment. The sad disappointment on my little girl’s face punched me right in the stomach. How dare that Tooth Fairy forget to reward my precious baby for her of hard work caring for those little teeth until her big girl set pushed them out!
“That’s it,” I exclaimed, “I am going to email that crazy old tooth collecting fairy the minute you get on the bus and let him know this will not stand!”
“HER, daddy. Girls have a girl Tooth Fairy and boys have a BOY Tooth Fairy.”
“Sorry, baby girl, daddy forgot. I’ll tell HER what for!”
I went on to blame her teething brother whom had woke that night in agonizing pain. Even expressing my own anger, blaming the Tooth Fairy for stealing all her brother’s pacifiers because we had prevented her from performing her Tooth Fairy duties. Her sad puppy dog eyes lifted from the floor and grew wide as her new bucktooth smile.
At dinner that evening, I updated my daughter on the progress I made with the Tooth Fairy. It turns out many children had lost teeth that day. She was overloaded and ran out of special coins to give them, but my little angel was the first on the list of stops tonight.
We made sure my baby girl had her box and note safely under her pillow when I tucked her in at bedtime. She hit me with that big smile and a thank you for putting the Tooth Fairy in her place.
The Tooth Fairy did not miss my daughter that night, and even compensated heavily for the mistake with three one-dollar bills, one gold dollar, one silver half dollar and two quarters. I don’t know what that crazy broad does with all those teeth, but it must be a lucrative business to be handing out that kind of cash.
My daughter’s jubilation this morning was well worth the extra effort to correct the Tooth Fairy’s mistake, and she told me something that brought me to absolute tears of joy. On the bus the day before, she told her friend that daddy and mommy were magic because we make all kinds of wonderful and fun things happen. When her friend argued there was no such thing as magic, she angrily spit back at him, “You don’t know, you have never even been to MY house!”
So I say to all the non-believers, I know for a fact that there is magic in this world. It can be found in family. Pay just a moment of attention to your children and listen close to what they have to say. Hearing my daughter’s story this morning was one of the little things that make parenting the most rewarding career I have ever had. Knowing that, despite our family being torn apart, trying cope with the separation and divorce while maintaining a loving environment, or staying strong against the many woes the world throws at us on a daily basis, my children can see wonder and magic in their parents.
If a little girl who has gone though so much in her young life like my daughter believes I perform magic, then I must be doing something right as a parent. And if your children see magic in you, even when the world is beating you down, then you are surely doing something right, too.