22 JanDaddy and the Tooth Fairy

IMG_20130122_192432The tooth fairy is a really fun cultural tradition. It makes up for the trauma of losing a tooth. I have vivid memories of my dad reaching into my mouth with his finger.

“You’re not going to pull it?” I ask, afraid.

“I’m just going to check it,” he would say.

He would wiggle it back and forth and then with a sudden pull my tooth would pop out. I would feel a little pain, taste blood, and then hop around in fear and anger before settling down and taking the tooth from his fingers and proudly showing my brothers and sisters. Then came the best part—putting it under my pillow and waking up with a quarter in its place.  Of course, some of my spoiled friends boasted of getting a dollar for their tooth. That was outrageous. Times change and still things stay the same. The other day on the school bus I was driving I listened to a six-year-old tell he got $5.00 for his tooth. As a father all I can say is “outrageous!” My kids only get a dollar.

In my home we have a little container in the family room where my kids put their teeth to await the tooth fairy. Then the game begins.

“Where is the tooth fairy today, daddy?” asks my youngest.

“In Ghana. That’s in Africa,” I explain.

“Okay,” he says. He knows this means it might be awhile before money appears in the container.

He knows this because he has watched the process with his older brothers and sisters. The game started by accident. My kids would lose a tooth. I would forget to replace the tooth with a dollar. I would be informed by a disappointed child that the tooth fairy didn’t come last night. Trying to bolster my kid’s hope and save a little face I started making up reasons why the tooth fairy didn’t come.

“The tooth fairy is in the Philippines where there has been a hurricane. It’s slowed him down a bit.”

The next morning, when I had forgotten again to put money in the container, I would tell the child, “Fresno, California. Getting closer.” If I forgot again, and I often did, I would say, Cedar City, just down the road a bit.” Now the pressure was on. I couldn’t forget again—the tooth fairy was just too close. Eventually the tooth fairy would arrive in Levan, but sometimes it would take two weeks for the fairy to make his way to our home.

Yesterday I told my seven-year-old that the tooth fairy was in Toquerville. Luckily for my son, the tooth fairy made his way north last night and left a dollar.

About Tory C Anderson

Tory C Anderson is the father and Dad of eight children. He has been employed in telecommunication and computer technology for 25 years. Like most men, Tory has many plans for his life, but he has found that his family has been taking up most of the space. He feels no regrets. Tory's latest Young Adult novel, Joey and the Magic Map is out. You can read more about it here: http://www.ToryCAnderson.com