The tooth came out. Last night. During church.
I was on the platform singing, and I happened to glance over at Shawna. She caught my eye, and motioned to her mouth, and then to Lex. I understood immediately. Lex grinned; I could see the gap from across the sanctuary!
I'm so excited--not so much that she lost the tooth, but that she lost it while I was otherwise occupied.
After service, Gentry and Lex came up to me. "Letsis lost her toof," he said, "and she's gonna put it under her pillow and get some money!" he said.
She grinned broadly, and showed me the gap. For some reason, I could tell that, with the loss of that tooth, she was finally comfortable in her 6 year-old skin, that she finally felt like she belonged.
I was happy for her.
Late last night, I got up and tiptoed into her room to check under her pillow. She'd put the tooth in a baggie, along with a handwritten note. She'd written a short note to the tooth fairy explaining that she'd lost the enclosed tooth.
I was touched, so I went and got a baggie, put a $10 bill in it, and wrote a brief note from the tooth fairy, congratulating her on her loss, and wishing her many more easy "tooth-losses." I stuck the note in the baggie, and replaced her baggie with mine.
I stuck the tooth into a kitchen cabinet, and I went to bed.
This morning when she got out of bed, she dug around under her pillow almost immediately. And there she found the note and money. She read the note, asked my help reading "congratulations." She looked thoughtfully at the note for a few minutes, stuffed both the money and the note back into the baggie, and went off to find Shawna.
I heard her in our bedroom explaining that she'd put the tooth and note under her pillow, and this morning she'd found the money and a response note. "The tooth fairy gave you ten dollars, huh?" Shawna asked Lex.
"No," Lex replied.
Shawna was silent for a moment, not sure what to say. I tiptoed down the hall, and stood just outside the room listening.
"No, the tooth fairy didn't come last night," Lex told Shawna. "It was Daddy."
"What do you mean?" I asked, sticking my head into the room.
"Well," Lex started, "first, you knew too quickly what that word "congratulations" was. And, I know your handwriting; that was your handwriting. It was YOU Dad."
I was dumbfounded. Shawna started chuckling. This is the same girl who, not a week ago, was arguing VEHEMENTLY that there most certainly WAS a Tooth Fairy, and now, with a few minor slip-ups, she knows the truth.
So much for letting her enjoy some of the fantasy of childhood. I ruined it without even trying.
I should have typed the note...