The Moment Of Tooth

Remind me again why the tooth fairy gives children money for a lost tooth. No, really, I can’t remember why.

Sure, back in the day, I did it. I stashed my tooth under my pillow and awaited payment the next morning.

But I had to rack my brain to remember how the tooth fairy got her start without much time to prepare for an inquisition. My son (now toothless for the first time) grilled me about it.

I should have approached this assignment the same way I do my news stories. In other words, research it, rather than try to “wing it” off the top of my head.

You see, if I keep the analogy going, my son’s first lost tooth wasn’t exactly “breaking news.” Although it was accelerated by a tennis incident.

During a group tennis lesson, an overzealous classmate took a swing with her racket and made a direct hit. Not with the ball. With my son’s two front teeth.

That led to an emergency visit to the dentist and instructions to watch and wait. Due to the trauma, doctor’s orders, we decided to let nature take its course.

In other words, no string on the doorknob. Whose bright idea was that anyway? The anticipation alone would freak me out. Heaven forbid, the first tug wouldn’t work.

I just cringed imagining that from my past. Now, as any parent knows, watching your child struggle through an uncomfortable scenario multiplies your concerns. We waited months for the wiggling to gently pry it loose. Finally, the moment of truth, or tooth, came.

I gave my son a special pouch to put under his pillow for the tooth fairy. It was just the right size. A little powder blue Tiffany and Co. pouch. Although I did have some reluctance that anything associated with Tiffany, naturally, would be a premium. The

Tooth Fairy’s payments have sure gone up since my childhood. Twenty dollars? I think I may have gotten a dollar.

So, here’s a frightening proposition. A child will usually lose 20 teeth between the ages of 6 and 12. At 20 bucks a pop, my son will make out like a bandit. Then, it’ll be my daughter’s turn to lose a tooth and earn a pretty penny.

Now if only the tooth fairy could guarantee their permanent teeth come in straight. Then she’d put a million-dollar smile on the face of this mom.