Yes Virginia, there is a Tooth Fairy. I know this for a fact, because I saw her. I was about eight years old and I was sleeping on the floor of my bedroom. My cousin, Lori, was spending the night, so she got my twin bed. Lori was older than me and pretty and had the cutest red and white striped pj’s with matching top and pants with the feet. My pajamas were a hand-me-down nightgown and I really wanted a pair of those red and white pj’s. Tracy got to stay in her own twin bed that night because she was older. That’s okay, with Lori in the room, Tracy wouldn’t be able to carry out her nightly ritual of sneaking out of her bed, crawling across the floor and jumping up to scare the crap out of me.
On this particular evening I was falling into twilight slumber in my sleeping bag on the floor. The baby tooth I lost that day was safe under my pillow and I was hoping the Tooth Fairy would realize I was on the floor and not in my bed. I was also worried that she’d think I might’ve forgotten my tooth and she’d pass up my house. See, a few months earlier I had a tooth pulled at the dentist and forgot it at the dentist’s office. That night I wrote the Tooth Fairy a heartfelt letter, telling her I was sorry about forgetting my tooth, but could she please come back in a few days after we had the chance to go back to the dentist and pick up my tooth. I put that letter under my pillow that night, and sure enough, she came back a few days later and left a shiny new quarter under my pillow. Yes, that was a molar under my pillow that time. My front teeth were only worth a dime (the equivalent of a bag of Skittles) and that was good enough for me. I don’t know what kids today get; I think it’s about $300, or an X-Box. Of course it’s probably difficult to sneak an X-Box under a sleeping kid’s pillow, so I think the Tooth Fairy resorts to the $300.
So there I was, half-asleep on the floor … and I heard something. Kind of like a fluttering, or my bedroom door opening. I opened one eye and there she was. A huge, glorious butterfly with sparkling wings accented with every color of the rainbow. It was completely magical. I closed my eyes just enough to make her think I was asleep, but kept watching her. She fluttered gracefully down to my pillow for a few seconds, flew up a bit to look at me, and then in a blink she was gone. I remember it like it was yesterday. The next morning I couldn’t talk about anything but the glorious Tooth Fairy. And then I took my dime to the Wagon Wheel to pick up a package of Skittles to start on another cavity.
Tracy missed out on the Tooth Fairy one year. It was a tragic accident. We were sitting at the kitchen table one morning chowing down on some Lucky Charms, that frosted oat cereal with sweet surprises. Tracy bit down on a particularly hard yellow moon or green clover. When she realized it wasn’t a marshmallow, she said to my Mom, “I think there’s an onion in my cereal!” My Mom replied that was ridiculous, and told her to just eat her cereal. So Tracy probably thought, well, whatever’s in my Lucky Charms must be magically delicious, so what the heck. It was hours later that my Mom remembered Tracy had a loose tooth. She checked Tracy’s mouth, and sure enough that tooth was gone. So my sister ate her own tooth. And the Tooth Fairy wasn’t able to bring Tracy her dime because there was no tooth. It’s one thing to search for a kid’s tooth under their pillow, but I don’t blame the beautiful Tooth Fairy for not wanting to search for Tracy’s tooth.