I thought I was so sly. For years, I have stealthily managed my alternate identities as various magical creatures without my kids knowing the truth. I have filled plastic eggs with candy and coins at Easter, and hoarded stocking stuffers for Christmas Eve. (My husband is my accomplice. He eats the cookies left for Santa.)
And… I have slipped a fortune under the pillows of my children without their knowledge while stealing their lost baby teeth. In the beginning, I waited until they were asleep. Then, I would tiptoe into their room holding my breath, feeling my way in the darkness to their beds. The problem was that as I got older and more exhausted, I found I would fall asleep before it was safe to complete the job. The next morning, I would awaken in a panic, grab the money and rush into their rooms as they began to stir from sleep. It was nerve-racking. So, I formulated Tooth Fairy Plan B. I began helping them slip their tooth under their pillow as I tucked them into bed. What they didn’t know is that I was slipping the money underneath while snatching the tooth. I got away with this by warning them not to reach under the pillow to touch the tooth because that really got on the Tooth Fairy’s nerves and if she caught them, she wouldn’t leave the cash.
Until last night.
Only my youngest child, The Queen Of Sass, still believes in such things. Last night, as I was carrying out my genius plan she busted me. She spotted the dollar in my hand.
“AAAAAAHHHH! YOUR THE TOOTH FAIRY!”
“What? Me? No!”
“I see the dollar!”
“No, uh-uh, see I’m putting the tooth under the pillow. The money is in my pocket!”
She wanted to believe and that satisfied her. At least I thought it did. I dashed to my room and climbed into bed to read until I was certain she was asleep.
Did I mention I am old and exhausted? Well, I fell asleep and for the first time, and I guess the last time, I blew it. I bolted into her room the next morning to hide the money but it was too late. She had already found the tooth under her pillow and she was none to happy about it. I couldn’t stand the disappointment on her face, not while I had a dollar in my hand.
“Baby, you were right. I’m the Tooth Fairy.”
“Yeah!!!! I knew it!”
She took the dollar. I took the tooth. Everyone was happy.
Except me. You see, she is my last baby. My last bit of magic. I’m not ready for mere mortality.
Later on, I tried to redeem the wonder.
“Baby, can’t we just pretend there is still a Tooth Fairy? You are my last baby. I’m not ready to stop.”
“No. You are the Tooth Fairy.”
“C’mon!” I whined. “Please! Let’s just pretend!”
“OK,” she moaned, her voice dripping with annoyance.
“Great,” I said. Then, I pushed my luck. “What does she look like?”
She delivered a response as only The Queen of Sass can.
“She is white! And she has short hair! It is you!”
And so it is.