The tooth fairy had a tendency to leave money for me in a glass of water – on the kitchen sink. He or She – (do we really know the gender?) usually took the tooth, but left the money and the water in the cup for me to find each morning. I even received a dollar bill once. I was excited – once it dried out.
My husband’s tooth fairy experience was different than mine. Apparently his fairy left money under his pillow. I didn’t realize until later in life that most everyone had a similar experience like my husbands. Go to sleep with a tooth under your pillow; wake up with no tooth and money.
Apparently my fairy was creative – or forgetful.
I liked my version. It was different than everyone else. We’ve been chatting in these weekly columns for nearly three years now. You’ve probably figured out that I like different.
Last Saturday night, just as I was driving away from the home where my tooth fairy often visited, my 5 year old, Ella discovered her front tooth was loose. When I heard the news, I had to check it out for myself. I pulled over on the side of the road and quickly found her front tooth to be wiggily.
I was so excited for her first loose tooth, that I immediately texted her dad to tell him the good news.
His response? “Oh, wow! She’s going to be missing a tooth soon and the tooth fairy will leave money under her pillow!”
You see the problem here? For over 5 years we’ve wondered where the tooth fairy would leave the loot. We had a similar conversation with Santa Claus, but soon learned he liked to bring in both traditions.
The jury’s still out on the fairy.
When the excitement calmed down, I pulled back onto the road and continued our journey home. But it didn’t take long for it to hit me – my baby girl is losing her baby teeth.
When I drive, I think. Even if the kids are chatting in the back seat, the open road and an hour free of social media distraction clears my head. So I drove and I thought. I thought about where it’s all gone. I wondered truly, how my first born was already losing her baby teeth. As usual, I questioned if I was taking it all in.
My mind wandered to a conversation I had with a friend of mine earlier in the week. We don’t talk much anymore as life pulls us each in different directions. But we try. A quick e-mail chat helped us realize that the crazy isn’t going to slow down. Life doesn’t stop even if we can’t catch our breath.
Maybe you know what I’m talking about? Are you there, too? I’ve been thinking I’ll be able to spend more time with my girls once my business slows down, or once the weather gets warmer, or once my husband has more time at home. But I know the truth. I’m sure you do too.
It’s going to stay busy. It’s going to go fast.
I can’t tell you why life seems to be speeding by quicker every day. What I do know is that my oldest daughter and I had a distraction free moment; a brief period of time where we both shared in the excitement over one of life’s incredible firsts. And I was there; mentally, physically and emotionally there to witness it.
Not even the swiftness of time can take that memory away. I wonder if she’ll remember. I know I’ll never forget.
Read more from Leslie in the Kearney Hub.