Firstly, a thank you…to all who read Daily Frosting and read it thoroughly enough to catch grammatical or factual typos (those shallots from a recent recipe only needed to be sauteed for 3 TO 5 minutes, not 305 minutes. Wowza). I thank you because typos like that make me bananas and somehow, my spell check seems to go on hiatus every so often, as do my own sensors. So, a large thank you to all…truly. You help make my writing better and I love you all for it. Don’t ever hesitate to point them out!
Secondly, nothing beats a good, little surprise. Remember that today. Maybe do something to give someone a little thrill. Three nights ago, we traveled home from our holiday weekend. We had left late and spent most of the drive in the dark and in the rain. No fun. Not horrible, but not particularly enjoyable and certainly very tiring. When we finally dragged ourselves into our home around 11pm, I noticed that someone had left a pot of beautiful pansies with a Happy Easter greeting on our front porch. Pansies from a good friend and fellow gardener. Ended the evening on a perfectly delightful note and it was completely unexpected. Surprises can be a wonderful thing, no matter how big or how small.
And thirdly…This past weekend, my older daughter lost a tooth (one of the big ones). In our house, we always know that a tooth is about to exit a mouth within precisely twenty-four hours if the child whose mouth is at the center of this commotion starts to come unglued. The tooth is annoying! I can’t sleep with it in! It’s too loose! It’s bleeding! I can tip it ALL the way this way! I can tip it ALL the way THAT way! I want it out of my mouth nowwww!
There she was, two nights before Easter, pacing around my in-law’s kitchen holding an ice cube on her gums, hoping, with every bit of determination, that she could somehow freeze her gums so that the tooth would lose its grip, cry mercy and just pop out. The weird part is that this strategy has worked for her before. This time, though, no go. This tooth was too big and had some fight left in it.
Finally, though, out it came! She went from terribly upset and rattled to joyous all in one fell swoop of a tooth. ‘Twas a bi-polar inducing molar, yes sirree.
The tooth fairy made an appearance that night, due entirely to the fact that this daughter shares a room with our younger daughter when we are at my in-laws. Older daughter is hip to the Fairy but Younger Daughter is still a believer. Hence, Older Daughter makes out like a bandit so as to keep the magic alive and kicking for the younger. She really should thank her for those four dollars when she gets the chance.
That got me thinking and subsequently had me raise the question on Facebook to my friends…what does one do with the teeth that the Fairy has collected all these years? I have two matchboxes (stealthily hidden, of course) that contain these funny little remnants of my girls’ childhoods. On one hand, they make me nostalgic…I remember those nights, sneaking into their rooms as carefully as a skilled cat-burgler (who has the added obstacles of toys and clothes, which become virtual deathtraps in a darkened room) and leaving little treats for my sleeping lovelies. On the other hand, when I open those matchboxes, part of me feels like a strange Mom-version of Hannibal Lector, with these bony, bloody, little nuggets hoarded over the years. Especially when I consider that a sigh of sweet remembrance usually accompanies the viewing of these teeth. *shiver*
Do we keep or save? And save to what end? So that a complete hoard of childhood memories can, at some point, be handed over to the creator of those memories? What would my children do with an old set of their teeth someday down the road? One of my friends actually mentioned that she knows someone who had her kids’ teeth gold-plated and strung on a necklace. I can honestly think of A) nothing creepier and B) no accessory that could make you look like a crazed native from a far off South Pacific island quicker than that necklace would. *again, shiver*
Part of me feels like a “bad Mom” if I choose to throw them away…isn’t everything from our kids supposed to be precious? Not to say, by any stretch of the imagination that you are if you have, but this is just me talking here. It’s like the great artwork or baby clothes debate…do you keep (and if so, for how long?) items that you know will, over time and un-use, become dusty, moth-eaten and faded, just so you can physically hold onto those younger days?
I think the bigger part of me feels, though, that if I throw them out, I am somehow disposing of Magic. The Magic of the Tooth Fairy. Or the Easter Bunny. Or (gasp) Santa. When those bits of childhood magic go, a chapter of The Book of Innocent Childhood Days is closed. Forever. And there’s no going back. Hanging onto those teeth in those little matchboxes (which I really do have to label one of these days..maybe turn this into an over-the-top Pinterest project?) gives me the comfort that there is Magic present in this house.
Older daughter may know about the Bunny and the Fairy and the man in the Red Suit, but if remnants of those persona still remain-the baskets, the tooth pillows and donated teeth, the stockings-then the Magic remains and continues on. Sparkles still twinkle, although somewhat dimmed by the reality of growing up. We all know (or will know) The Truth but will continue to dance around the Big White Elephant in the room, enjoying the fantasy of it all. Hanging on to sweet, innocent times for ourselves and others.
I think I have, in the course of this post, decided to save those teeth. Amazing how writing 1000+ words on a subject can clarify things for you. Magic is good and any way we can retain little bits of it in our very-harsh-at-times world is invaluable.
…Guess it’s time to decorate some matchboxes.