The other night, my son came up to me out of the blue and said, “So, Mom, you’re the Tooth Fairy, right?”
My daughter—eleven now—had long since figured it out, but to hear my nine-year-old (my youngest) ask the question made me a little sad.
My husband and I always agreed that if and when our kids asked, we’d tell them. So there I was with my son’s question hanging in the air ... and I didn’t want to answer.
“Are you sure you want to know?” I asked.
“Yes.” He nodded.
“Okay,” I said, “You’re right. I’m the Tooth Fairy.”
“I knew it!” He smiled.
We talked about how he figured it out and reminisced about the glitter, notes, and money I’d put under his pillow over the years.
And I knew it was a matter of time before the other questions would come ... About a half hour later, they did.
“Mom?” he called from his shower upstairs.
I headed up and answered through the closed door, “What?”
“So if you and Dad are the Tooth Fairy, then that means you’re the Easter Bunny, right?”
I sighed and leaned my head against the door. “Right,” I said.
There was a pause, then, “That means you’re Santa too.”
I smiled. “That means we’re Santa too.” I shook my head. “You sure figured out a lot in one night,” I told him.
After he got out, we talked more about his questions and how, now that he’s older, he can help fill stockings and hide Easter baskets for his younger cousins. He was excited about the idea, and proud that he’d figured it out.
We also talked about the true meaning of the holidays and how that never goes away.
It was a good conversation. But it was bittersweet, too.
I know he’s nine and most of his friends have probably already figured all of this out, but, still ...
He’s my youngest.
And he’s growing up.
As he moves into this next phase—as I move into this next phase—it’s kind of sad saying good-bye to the younger years and all the fun that goes with it.
My daughter is old enough now to help in the two-year-old room at church and just today, after they watched a Veggie Tales movie in the classroom, she and I talked about how she used to watch those and how much she loved them. All those years ago ...
I don’t know how it’s possible that one minute our kids are watching toddler shows and barely reaching the counter in the kitchen, and the next minute they’re helping with the two-year-olds or realizing who the Tooth Fairy is ... but I guess that’s just time passing.
Sometimes, I wish it wouldn’t pass so quickly.
Know what I mean?
What about you? How old were your kids when they figured out about the Tooth Fairy, or have they? And if they have, how did it happen?