My daughter Casey is 11. Earlier today, she lost a tooth—one of the few baby teeth remaining in her mouth. We were at a restaurant when it happened, and as we walked out she pulled me aside to say she knows there’s no such thing as the Tooth Fairy.
As weird as this might sound (she is, after all, nearly a teenager), the revelation broke my heart. Even since Casey lost her first tooth, I’ve been sneaking into her room at night and leaving some sort of gift (candy, a little toy, etc) along with a note from Sunna, her personal tooth fairy. Casey always loved this, and would come into our bedroom and show us Sunna’s warm, compassionate words.
Anyhow, tonight I bought a Cadbury bar at a gas station, and will probably slide it beneath her pillow along with a $5 bill. I’ll include the following note, which I just finished writing … with tears in my eyes.
Watching a child grow is so rewarding.
Watching a child grow is so heartbreaking.
Here’s Sunna’s final note …
My dearest love, Princess Casey …
I love you. I love your teeth. I’ve loved being your tooth fairy for the last nine years. I’ve seen you blossom from a little girl to a young woman, and it makes my heart glow with pride.
But I think it’s time …
There comes a point when girls stop believing in me. This always breaks my heart, because it signifies the conclusion of something precious and sweet. I’ve now fluttered into your room more than 20 times. I know exactly how you sleep (soundly, always facing the same side) and how to take your tooth without waking you from a deep, beautiful slumber. The decorations and paint colors have changed through the years, but—in many ways—you have not. You remain sweet and passionate and dreamy. I’d never before been the tooth fairy to a girl who hangs socks and weird objects from her wall. You’re special. You think differently.
I understand why you no longer believe there’s a tooth fairy. You’re older, you’re wiser, you’re harder to dazzle. But, dear Casey, let me say this: Whether I’m a magical fairy who flies into your room or merely a loving parent shoving stuff beneath your pillow, I’m still Sunna. I represent wonderment and magic and—most of all—goodness.
Please, Casey, as you age, don’t stop believing in those things. Be enraptured by the beautiful. Find magic in the magical. And always look for the goodness in people. It’s there, even if sometimes it takes a while to find.
I have loved being your tooth fairy. Please, never forget me.
I will never forget you.