An Ordinary Day

Sometimes, an ordinary day can produce an unexpected gift.

This morning, Ruby (9) asked if she could fish around inside my jewelry box while I was getting ready in the next room. “Sure,” I replied absently, putting on my makeup, as she began taking inventory of my “dangly” earring collection.

Then I heard her normal chatter suddenly stop. And I knew, instinctively, something was wrong.

She stomped over to me and said, “Mom! What’s THIS?” and she held out her hand containing a navy blue velvet pouch.

My heart sank as I stared at the pouch containing my daughters’ baby teeth that I kept hidden away in the back of my jewelry box. (Is it weird that I just can’t bring myself to part with their pearly-whites?)

She looked at me quizzically, as I could see her little brain trying to wrap itself around her discovery.

A long silence ensued, then, I heard the words:

“Mom? Are YOU the Tooth Fairy?!?”

I stammered, as things suddenly began to move in slow motion. “Think!” I commanded myself. (I thought about saying something creative like, “Well, The Tooth Fairy must have wanted me to hold on to them for her!”)

But then I looked at her face, and her liquid blue eyes just staring at me. I took a deep breath, and said,

“Do you want to know the truth?”

Calmly, she replied,



A million thoughts flashed through my mind at that very moment. “The next sentence you say will alter the course of her life forever,” I warned myself. I envisioned her as an adult on the nationwide book tour (sponsored by Barnes and Noble) promoting her bestselling tell-all memoir of her childhood. As she slowly takes the podium in front of the standing-room-only audience thunderously applauding, she says,

“I’d like to read an excerpt from Chapter 7 – “The Day My Mom Robbed Me of My Childhood When She Confessed to Being the Tooth Fairy.”


I took Ruby’s hand and sat her down on the bed. I looked at her, and began.

“The REAL Tooth Fairy lives in our HEARTS,” I said. “It means that you have a special kind of love that you give your children when you become a Mommy. You spread this love each time your child loses a tooth because they are losing a special part of themselves that shows they are becoming more grown up.”

I continued, “MY mom – your Grandma – kept the tradition of The Tooth Fairy alive for ME, her daughter. When I was old enough to know the truth, I asked her and she told me about giving her love to me in this special way. And someday, it will be YOUR turn, to continue the tradition with YOUR children.”

She thought about it for a minute, as it hit me that RIGHT NOW, she was losing a tiny part of her innocence.

“Do you understand what I’m telling you?” I asked.

She replied, “Yes. I think I’m old enough to understand,” And she smiled.

Then we talked about her little sister and how she still believed. How it wasn’t our place to tell her just yet…until she was ready, and old enough, to understand.

“I promise I won’t tell her,” she said and held out her pinkie to seal the deal.I wrapped my pinkie around hers and made it official.

Then she added, “Maybe I can help be The Tooth Fairy the next time Josie loses a tooth!”

I smiled and nodded. And at that moment, I suddenly realized it was going to be okay. She wouldn’t be scarred. I wasn’t a horrible mother.

It would be a happy ending.

As she began to walk away, suddenly she turned to look at me.

“Mom? I’m glad you told me.” And she happily skipped away.

I breathed a sigh of relief and then went about my ordinary day.

Which suddenly, didn’t seem so ordinary after all.