Believing in Magic

April 10, 2013

The Tooth Fairy was late.

Several mornings in a row, my older daughter checked under her pillow only to find her own note along with her own tooth. Finally, my daughter awoke one morning and found an apologetic note from the Fairy; it seemed the Fairy had been working in China for several days and was only just now able to pick up my daughter’s tooth.

My daughter proudly told this story to her friends in her 1st grade class. And two friends promptly told her that the Tooth Fairy was fake.

My daughter came home stunned and heartbroken. She asked my husband if the Tooth Fairy was a fake. In the time-honored tradition of all marriages, he told her to wait till Daddy came home. And he then frantically texted me.

Oh boy. I was dreading my older daughter’s questions. And I had to think fast, because I was just a few minutes away from home.

My daughter cornered me the second I got home. She made sure her younger sister wasn’t watching, and then asked, “Someone told me the Tooth Fairy is fake. Is that right?”

I gently motioned her to come upstairs with me. I led her to a closet and showed her a stack of envelopes and notes. Mouth agape, she looked at each note, all covered with her own handwriting and addressed to the Tooth Fairy. With a tooth still in each. Then she looked up at me with a stricken expression.

“You! You’re the Tooth Fairy?” she asked.

I nodded slowly.

“Why? Why lie to me,” she demanded.

“Because I helped you believe in magic for a while,” I began. “I grew up believing in magic, because of my mom and dad. They helped me believe in the Tooth Fairy. And when I stopped believing, my mom and dad asked me to pass the magic on to my children.”

“That’s what I did with you,” I continued. “I helped you believe in magic for a while. Now I want you to pass that on to your younger sister, and then to your own children. Will you do that? Will you help me pass the magic on?”

My daughter looked at me, and then slowly smiled. Then a great huge grin. And she said …


Two hours later: “Daddy … Wait … What about Santa Claus?!” I winced, and told her to just keep believing in magic a bit longer.

Two years later: my younger daughter lost her first tooth. My older daughter helped her write a note to the Tooth Fairy, and assured her that the Tooth Fairy will indeed find her.

Thank you for passing the magic on, and for helping others believe in magic.

(And yes, the Tooth Fairy was on time. This time.)

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