Friday, October 19, 2012

the tooth fairy

Emma lost her very first tooth at her 8th birthday party.  She was taking a bite of her cake when it fell out.  Two years later (just yesterday), she lost her 7th tooth the day after her birthday (we've yet to have her party).  It's just kind of funny how the timing has worked!

She excitedly put her tooth in the special tooth holding pillow with a pocket thing and sat it by her pillow, eagerly waiting for the tooth fairy to come during the night to take her tooth and leave her some gold money (we the tooth fairy uses gold dollars).

Let me interrupt myself for a second...

When it's come to the tooth fairy and Santa Claus, we've always felt somewhat torn about how to approach it.  We want our kids to know they can trust us and that we'll always tell them the truth.  But at the same time, we've wanted them to use their imaginations and experience the excitement of these things because IT'S FUN.  I leaned towards telling them the truth about it while Tyler leaned towards not so much.  We settled on an in between and decided we'd tell them when they asked for the truth about it.

To continue...

So, morning time came (this morning), and Emma walks in and says, "The tooth fairy didn't come."

I'm thinking in my head, "THE TOOTH FAIRY DIDN'T COME?!!  What kind of loser tooth fairy do we have?!!"  But instead I smiled and said, "Oh, really?  I wonder if a lot of kids lost their teeth last night and she didn't have time to come yet."

She looked bummed but was trying to stay chipper about it.

I'm thinking, Can't you just ask me if the tooth fairy is real, please?! But no, she never does.

Anyway, so we got a lot of ideas from friends on FB that were quite entertaining, as to how to fix the problem of a no-show tooth fairy, and we also decided to go ahead and tell Emma the tooth fairy wasn't real.  She's freakin' 10 years old now.  That's old enough to make sure she knows since she apparently is never going to ask about it.  hehe.  (I don't remember ever truly believing the tooth fairy or Santa was real, but it was still fun to me.)

I was a little concerned she was going to feel lied to and lose some trust in me.  I even wondered if she was going to then question everything we've told her, not believe us as easily when it came to things, and whether she'd wonder if God was real.  Now that I've told her, I realize my worries were WAY EXTREME because that wasn't at all how she responded.

I stopped her and told her I had something to tell her.  I said, "The tooth fairy isn't real."

She stopped and stared at me.  I assumed she must be feeling disappointed.  I mean, she'd have to be, right?  But she didn't really show it...I just guessed it.  She looked thoughtful and almost like she didn't think I would know what I was talking about.  She said, "How do you know?"  So, I explained it all to her.  She thought it was quite interesting.  She was a touch disappointed because she liked the idea little fairies being real, but she actually didn't implode, nor was her world ruined.  Imagine that.

Tyler and I texted each other through out the day about it.  I thought I'd post it here for memories sake.  A couple things to know.  My texts are blue.  Tyler's texts are white.  Tyler is usually the tooth fairy (but it's really not his fault, even though I pretend to blame him) and we give her gold money for each tooth.  You can click on it to see it larger.  (There was a little typo I didn't catch while texting him that I edited to make it correct):

So, after these texts, I decided to make sure she knew about Santa too.  I stopped her and told her, "Emma, you also need to know that Santa is not real."  She smiled and said, "I know."

I was so surprised!  When did she figure that out?

Based off of the responses on FB, there will be a smallish portion of you that will think along the lines that I did (though some think it much more strongly than me) that children whose parents play the Santa/Tooth Fairy/Easter Bunny game with their kids (we never did the Easter Bunny) will end up with children who, to some degree, no longer trust their parents, think of them as liars, and potentially lose their faith in God.  (haha!)

Since I've experienced this, I would like to state that none of the above happened with Emma nor do I now believe it would happen with most kids.  I ended up talking to her about it again later on to make sure she was really okay.  She had no trust issues, didn't think of it as being dishonest at all, and she thought it was really funny.  When I tried to approach it as though it was possibly somewhat dishonest of us, she looked at me like I was crazy and clearly did not associate it with lying.  When I reiterated to her that God was real, she interrupted me and firmly said, "I know Jesus Christ is real."

So...pretty much all my worries were pointless and leave me feeling like there's no reason to judge other people and how they do these things.  Odds are it'll be just fine!

That being said, we're still going to tell the other kids from the start the truth about Santa & the Tooth Fairy, but we're still going to play the game.  Someone mentioned it on FB, and I thought it was a great idea, Tyler did too.  I love the magic of childhood and giving them these fun memories.  I do think it can go too far sometimes, but overall, kids love stuff like and it's worth it.  TS already knows both are pretend because he asked a while ago, and I told him.

Oh, and the tooth fairy ended up coming tonight, and Emma still hasn't noticed, as far as I can tell.  :)

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