Friday, May 13, 2011
Gotta Love the Tooth Fairy
Eli lost a front tooth this week. It had been a LONG time coming. For quite a while this tooth had been literally hanging by a thread, bouncing around in his mouth like a weeble wobble (it just wouldn’t fall out). Several times he bumped his mouth and blood would flow from his gums, threatening to stain our living room furniture. I’d try to convince him to yank that tooth out, or twist it out like the stem of an apple. He never would. Eli is far more patient than I when it comes to anything that might cause physical pain. I’m more of a “get it over with” type, but he was adamant about letting it fall out on its own.
He also has supreme confidence in the tooth fairy. At one point it looked like his tooth might fall out during a sleep-over with his grandparents. But he wasn’t worried about the tooth fairy finding him, because as he put it, “The tooth fairy can just use her GPS.”
He also wasn’t worried about his new bunk bed. “Eli,” I said, “are you sure the tooth fairy is going to want to climb all the way up to your bed? It’s pretty high up there.”
“Are you kidding?” he responded, with a hint of disbelief at my naiveté, “The tooth fair has wings! She’ll fly up there.”
He was also confident the tooth fairy would come through with a little something extra, because Max, who lives next door, told him you get two dollars (as opposed to just one) when you lose one of your two front teeth. Rich and I kept warning him that probably wouldn’t happen, but in the end she left him a dollar and a quarter.
I sometimes wish I could adopt Eli’s patience and confidence, especially in my work life. No need to rush, good things will come, we can avoid pain yet still benefit from rewards, and people who promise to come through for us, ultimately will. Maybe it’s wrong of me, but I hope to preserve that attitude in him for as long as possible. Eli believes in the tooth fairy, but he’s in no rush to lose all his teeth. He knows it will happen, and when it does, the tooth fairy will find him and she won’t let him down.