Friday, May 20, 2016

Tooth Fairy Lost

This story was actually told to me by Elise. When I get home late from closing shift, Elise and I sit on the couch and relate our evenings to one another. Her evening is usually much more interesting than mine.

I didn't expect Elise to wait up for me. She doesn't every night. Some nights I get done very late. One night this week, I didn't leave the office until 10:00 and wasn't at home and in bed until after 11:00. But some nights, I'll receive a text message from Elise in the early evening, after the kids are in bed. She's going to do yoga. On those nights, when I come home the door to her office is closed and I can smell incense. I quietly walk downstairs and change my clothes. Sometimes, I'll grab a beer. Last night, when I thought I messed up one of our principal's papers and after reading the most depressing story eve on Human of New York on pediatric cancer, I needed two. 

On the nights I'm not done too late and Elise has done yoga, we'll sit on the couch. If it's warm enough, the living room window will be open behind us. The breeze will move through the large trees around our house, and cars will pass--many times too fast--up and down our street, high school kids coming home from late practices or pizzas being delivered. I'll grab a beer, and Elise will grab a glass of wine in a small glass we saved from Brazil or India (I can't remember) that they sold tomato sauce in and Elise saved. Which is a good thing, since Peter accidentally broke our last Reidel wine glass. When he did, he immediately burst into tears. But I wasn't mad. How could I be? I'd personally broken at least four or five simply by trying to hand wash them. 

Some nights--many recently--it will be raining or the wind will be blowing more forcefully than usual. It's nice sitting with the windows open, regardless of how loud our neighbor gets sometimes at night, trucks backing up, endlessly beeping as though they were really going to back someone over or John, an ex-Marine, practicing the trumpet next door. Sitting with the windows open is something we couldn't do in India. For many reasons. Not the least of which were the stifling heat that India is again having to deal with this year or mosquitoes.

After school that day, she took the kids to the Starbucks by our house for an after school treat. Peter got a sausage and egg sandwich. He argued with his siblings who wanted a bite. He wanted the whole thing to himself. He took a bite, and Elise her him crunching on something. She initially thought it was a piece of gristle in the meat. She grabbed the bite of sausage out of his mouth with a napkin and threw it into the garbage.

Only after she did that, did she notice the small amount of blood in his mouth.

He had been chewing on his tooth.

When Elise told Peter that he lost his tooth, he burst into tears right in the middle of Starbucks. She took him to the bathroom (having to abandon Sam and Clementine. No doubt it's a felony offense to leave one's child unattended in Starbucks while you take another one of your children to the bathroom. As though they might get into the caffeinated drinks by themselves). She cleaned him up there, and he was mostly better.

Later, at the house, he would lament the loss of his tooth, again breaking down into tears. As you may recall Peter has not had his two front top teeth since Brazil. Now, he doesn't have his two front bottom teeth either. I honestly don't know how he chews anything. There's a black hole in his mouth that just sucks food and drink into its gravitational well.

He said something about not being able to defend himself (evidently, he also thinks of himself as a wolverine or other biting critter?) without teeth and his teeth being his soul. The boy feels deeply.

The tooth fairy forgot to come. We had to elaborate upon the myth by saying the tooth fairy only knows to look under pillows, so if there's no tooth (or no note), she doesn't know to leave money.
We're not being cheap! Honest. But when you establish lore, you have to follow through for the sake of consistency, lest the tale unravel.

Pete has yet to write a note, so I stay a few dollars richer in the interim. 

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