Of Mommies and Teeth

Charlotte tiptoes into my room as I’m getting dressed.

“Mommy?” she says. “I want to know if you are the tooth fairy.”

I buy myself a minute by pulling a shirt over my head and adjusting it with my back to her.

“What makes you ask that, sweetie?”

“Well, the handwriting she leaves behind is a lot like your handwriting. And sometimes she does not come right away. I think maybe you’re the one taking our teeth.”

I take a breath. “Do you believe in fairies?”


“Then why do you think I’m the tooth fairy?”

“I just do. Are you, Mommy? Are you the tooth fairy?”

I pick her up, all 60-odd pounds of her. She throws her arms around my neck. I whisper, “Mommies and Daddies do many many things for their children. And sometimes they like to do it in magical and secret ways. So yes, parents are the tooth fairy.”

She’s silent for a minute. I peek at her face and she’s smiling. Then looking up at me, “But are YOU the tooth fairy, Mommy?”

“Yes. Yes, I am, sweetie.”

“I won’t tell anyone. Evelyn doesn’t know yet. I promise I won’t tell,” she smiles as she scampers out.


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