Dodging a bullet

Dear Hailee,

Tonight I felt like I carefully dodged a bullet with you. Cami lost her first tooth the other day, while your dad and I were on vacation in Canada. The Tooth Fairy gave her five dollars but forgot to take the tooth away. When I got home and you brought up that discrepancy, I explained that I contacted the Tooth Fairy and told her to leave the tooth so I could see it, as it was Cami’s first lost tooth!

A little while later I found you crying in your room. Your journal was on your bed and I read the entry you wrote while you were in tears. You wrote that you thought I was lying about the Tooth Fairy and that I don’t have a way to contact her. You were so sad because this was the first time you felt I had ever lied to you.

With some coaxing, I was able to get you to talk to me. You asked me how I could contact the Tooth Fairy. Did I have her phone number? You hadn’t seen any way for me to contact her. I can’t “float up into the clouds.” Then you continued to question. “Is the Tooth Fairy even real?” “Are you the tooth fairy?” “Is Santa real?”

I did some quick thinking and took your face in my hands. I said that if I told you how I could contact the Tooth Fairy, it would ruin the magic. You looked at me with tear filled eyes and asked me if  I was lying to you. This made me pause. That was a painful, direct question. Instead of answering, I asked you, “What do you want? Do you want me to answer your question or do you want to keep believing in the magic?” You thought a second and said you wanted to keep believing in the magic. Still holding your face in my hands I said, “Then let your heart feel that.”

You said your heart felt it but your head did not. You asked when you would have the answers to your questions. I told you moms know how to contact the Tooth Fairy, but you don’t want to wait until you are a mom to find out how that happens. So you asked me to tell you when you turn 11. I pinky promised that I would tell you the secrets about the Tooth Fairy when you are 11. With that, we hugged and I cuddled you while you fell asleep.

That was a difficult conversation to have with you Hailee. You have never asked such direct questions before and I felt pained to see the big emotions you were holding as you wrestled with these thoughts. I’m not ready for you to lose the magic, Hailee. The world is a tough place. It’s full of beauty too. But the world is a little more beautiful while magic exists. It’s a little better of a place when Santa brings you presents each Christmas, the Easter bunny hides eggs, just for you, and the Tooth Fairy slips money under your pillow for your lost, pearly ,baby teeth. I love that you genuinely believe that when you turn 11, you could find out you have magical powers and be recruited as a student, to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

You are on the cusp of growing up in so many ways and I want to protect your dreams and imagination, as long as I can. I don’t want you to feel I am lying to you. I want you to feel that I am bringing magic into your life. When you learn that I am the Tooth Fairy, I hope you know I didn’t deceive you to be cruel. I can see how special magic is to you. I can see how you light up with possibility when you talk about wizards, unicorns or making real magic wands. Already, I know that magic has diminished as you talk about those beliefs less and less. But I loved when your cousin Ellie, recently asked her mom for an LOL animal for Christmas, and you turned to her and immediately corrected her by saying, “You can ask Santa for it.”

You have the most beautiful, believing heart ,Hailee, and I want to preserve that magic for you a little while longer. I want that for both of us. Almost nothing makes me happier than witnessing your joy on Christmas morning when you wake to find gifts from Santa, or on Easter when you find a basket that was left, just for you, from the Easter Bunny. When you insist on knowing the truth, I hope to soften the blow, by inviting you to become a giver of magic, with your dad and me, and help foster and preserve the magic for your younger siblings. But I hope, for at least one more season full of magic for YOU, my sweet, wonderful Hailee.