I need to start out by saying that I had no idea my husband kept a Blair Witch cigar box in a secret desk drawer in his office. In this empty cigar box, where one might expect to find, say, actual cigars or old-school pencils, his has various remnants of the Things. For example, Thing One and Thing Two have now lost a number of baby teeth. (They are seven.) Not only are they in the box, but tucked inside baggies, dated, cataloged, and named per which Thing. There was also a baggie of blond hair. Here I can only imagine how he must have scooped up some remains after Thing One’s first haircut. I wonder now if the stylist thought it odd he was picking up hair as it was being swept up.
As I dug further into the box, I found a bag of fish bones. These were not little bones shoved in a baggie, like that wouldn’t already be weird, but the entire skeleton of four or five fish he clearly filleted on one of their fishing expeditions. I never go. Unless there is a five-star hotel involved I don’t really go on kid outings. Back in the day, with my first born, this same husband talked me into going camping. Something I had never done in my life and never planned on. I could certainly end my years on this planet without such a disgusting trip. But he made it very pleasant. The tent was the size of our back ground, replete with foamy beds, rocking chairs, tables, an espresso machine, a stove, pots, pans, nutritious food and of course junk food (I can’t go very far without cookies, chips, and chocolate bars), and gallons of bottled water. He’s incredibly thoughtful that way. When we arrived I waited in the car until everything was set up and I could enter the house tent and read glossy magazines. To my credit, I did go without bathing or washing for two days and busted two kids for lighting matches in the woods.
After I found the fish bones, I had to stop looking. What next, nail clippings?
The reason I opened this box is because I wanted to see the note my daughter, Thing One, wrote to the tooth fairy, having just lost a molar and knew she would be coming. I have it here:
“Dear Tooth Fairy, this tooth is one of a kind and it’s also one of my favorites. It would cost about 5000 dollars (where she got this street value god only knows). I also want to ask you if you would like to be pen pals. Write back. Sincerely, E.R.V. (Flip with an arrow)
“I’m also a one of a kind friend and I’m the only kid who truly believes in you and Santa Claus. Please please please please please! Make a note back to me once you take my tooth. Okay?”
My husband and I always forget the tooth thing, because once we get them into bed, it’s all we can do to get back to our own odd lives. And sometimes we don’t have a few bucks lying around. A number of times, the Things lucked out and got say, a twenty, another time a five. One night I only had a hundred dollar bill, but that seemed ridiculous, so instead I tucked a note under her pillow from the fairy stating she’d run out of money due to all the children losing teeth that night, but would be back the following night. My kids can’t make sense out of this and how can you blame them?
My husband found Thing One’s note and, of course, wept. I did not witness this because it was past 10 p.m. and I was already sleeping, but I know him pretty well. Sure, he has tattoos, survived crashing his motorcycle into a Mack truck and did a stint in the Special Ops, and was nicknamed Darth Vader in his law practice, but his daughters crush him. He left her fifteen dollars and a lovely letter expounding on her how special she is, how she is one of a kind, and how the most important thing in the world is to love. To love herself and to love others. His note was one page, I’ve truncated it, but it was beautiful.
She woke up so excited to find the money, but more excited to see the fairy wanted to be pen pals and be her special friend. Whenever one of the girls looses a tooth, we always leave a little something for the twin sister, just because the fairy was in the hood and loves her too.