|She's a busy little sprite. I wonder what she does with all those teeth?|
One of the hallmarks of being six is losing your baby teeth. Remember those pictures of your kids with those cute jack-o-lantern grins? Michael could never wait for his to fall out on their own. The second he noticed that he had a loose one, he couldn't leave it alone. He would wiggle it and pull on it until he could proudly display it in the palm of his hand. Ryan, on the other hand, would wait and let it get to the point where it was just dangling there, just hanging on by a thread.
At our house we had a tradition for this childhood milestone. We had a Tooth fairy box. When a tooth came out, it would go into the box. Then the box would sit expectantly on the bedside table waiting for a visit from the Tooth fairy. The Tooth fairy, forever faithful, would leave a few coins in the box in place of the tooth. Somewhere along the line (probably in a move) we lost the box, so the kids started putting their toothy treasures in a cup.
Christopher preferred to let his teeth come out when they were good and ready. Early in his sixth year, he had lost a couple of teeth. He quickly embraced the "Tooth fairy box" tradition, and could hardly wait to get up that next morning to see what the Tooth fairy had left for him.
It was no surprise then when he announced that he had another loose tooth, two in fact! The problem was that he was stuck in the hospital with Bob, Bad Bob, as he come to call him. I had mixed feelings. On the one hand I was thinking...Oh, isn't that cute he has two loose teeth, but on the other I was thinking... seriously? He's in the hospital. How pathetic is this? How can he possibly enjoy this big childhood moment in the hospital of all places. That Tooth fairy better open her wallet WIDE. This called for dollar bills. She could save her coins for another place and time. There must be some clause in her contract that says she pays triple if you loose a tooth in the hospital!
|Will the Tooth fairy know I'm in the hospital?|
I think the nurse could actually hear my heart breaking. The look on her face said that her heart was breaking too. We both assured him that YES, most definitely, the Tooth fairy would still come. The nurse told him that she had helped lots of kids in the hospital who had lost their teeth too, and the Tooth fairy ALWAYS came.
I wanted to crawl in a hole. It was such a sad exchange between nurse and patient. Being in the hospital this time was certainly different. I could never have envisioned anything like this happening. The worried look on his face, the concern in his voice, and the sadness in his eyes were enough to make me want to throw caution to the wind and run up every bit of credit on my charge card. What do you want, how many, and in what color?
I just wanted to make it better in anyway I could. There is a real temptation when you are the parent of a chronically ill child to want to coddle them and spoil them, but I had witnessed the disastrous results of such indulgences. It was enough for me to ignore my urge to spoil him rotten, to put my charge card back in my purse, and to give my son a hug instead.
|She found Christopher at the hospital.|
By the way... the Tooth fairy, being the faithful and sweet little pixie that she is, came to the hospital twice. Christopher lost two teeth during his stay. He smiled his wide jack-o-lantern smile when he discovered that she had been especially generous with him. With his big gapped (he was missing ALL four front teeth at the same time) toothless smile he announced...I guess the Tooth fairy pays double when you're in the hospital.
If you have never accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you can pray like this: