Don't stop believing...
A few weeks ago, Christopher and I were sitting at dinner and he asked, "Is the tooth fairy real? Or is that something that parents do?"
I had an "Honest Abe" moment as my husband likes to call it. He wasn't here for me to look at and receive the non-verbal yay or nay. Momentarily I panicked about having to answer about Santa. I wasn't ready.
I asked in return, "What do you think?" He said, "I don't know." I asked, "Have you heard something?" He said, "No, I just wanted to know."
At this point, I could not out and out lie. I said, "No, the tooth fairy isn't real. Mommy and daddy put the money under your pillow." He asked, "Did the tooth fairy put money under my pillow at Mimi's house?"
I was taken aback by this question. Didn't he just hear me say, the tooth fairy isn't real?
I shifted the conversation... "Once you stop believing in the tooth fairy you don't get money anymore." He slumped a little.
I added, "Once you stop believing you can't tell anybody who still believes..."
He quietly finished dinner, seeming to ponder the discussion. I didn't add anything else.
About a week later he discovered a loose tooth. At his insistence to, "Wiggle my tooth mom", I told him it wasn't ready and asked what was he rushing for.
He said, "I want to get some money."
I said, "But the tooth fairy isn't real. We talked about that." He said, "Yeah I don't understand."
I left it alone.
This weekend he finally pulled his tooth out. Happily he asked, "What should we do with it?" I said, "I don't know. You can put it in your drawer where you save stuff."
He said, "But I want to put it under my pillow." I asked, "What for?" He said, "To see if the tooth fairy comes."
I said, "Son..." with a grimace and left it alone.
The tooth sat on my dresser for the night and all the next day.
Last night before bed he said, "Can I have a sandwich bag for my tooth?"
I sat down on the side of the bed and said, "Didn't we talk about the tooth fairy?" He said, "Yeah." I said, "Do you understand?" He said, "Explain it to me again."
I asked, "Do you still believe?"
He said, "Yeah."
I said, "Okay. I'll get the sandwich bag."
An hour later he was snoring. I exchanged two dollars for the sandwich bag and put the tooth in my drawer with all the rest of them.
Just a few weeks ago, in my reflection of the shutdown post I said, "Sometimes I hate being a grown up." Sometimes I wish I could go back to the magic of believing in certain things.
Last night I just couldn't take that away from him.
Here's the thing... If I've been conned, he's good. Real good.