Hidden underneath the long branches and wide leaves of the Mimosa tree was a secret place. One that provided refuge and comfort to my sister and I when we were children.
It was a magical tree that could take on the form of anything that we imagined. A house, a town, a play-land, an escape tunnel and a private conversation room. Very seldom was it a tree.
I loved that Mimosa tree, but one day something terrible happened underneath it. My sister and I were playing, and while bouncing around I lost my tooth. Normally that wouldn’t be a big deal, but for me it was.
In a panic, I told my sister what had just happened. She didn’t understand how serious and tragic it was, so out came the tears. “How will the Tooth Fairy know that I lost a tooth if it isn’t under my pillow tonight?”
She knew that the Tooth Fairy wasn’t real, but she also didn’t like to see me sad. So after I had successfully gained her sympathy, we began searching the ground together.
Leaves and sticks went flying. Dirt was thrown. Grass was torn apart. Our secret place was a mess. Unfortunately, the tooth was nowhere to be found. Staring hopelessly at my sister, I waited for her advice. She suggested that I go explain to our mother what had happened. That was good enough for me.
Off I went, running into the house crying. “Mom, I lost my tooth under the tree. We looked for it everywhere, but couldn’t find it. It vanished!”
At first, I don’t think that my mother understood what the big deal was either. Trying to be supportive she said, “It’s okay honey.” It wasn’t okay. This was serious!
“But Mommmm! How will the Tooth Fairy know that I lost my tooth if it’s under the tree?”
Then she understood why I was so upset. Mothers are amazing. They come up with brilliant ideas within seconds.
“Oh, don’t worry about that. That’s an easy fix. Write a note to the Tooth Fairy explaining to her that you lost your tooth under the tree. Then put the note underneath your pillow, and when she comes she’ll understand why your tooth isn’t there.”
What a great idea! Without hesitation, I ran to my room and wrote a note to the Tooth Fairy. I told her all about how I had lost my tooth, how my sister and I had desperately looked for it, and apologized for losing it under the tree. Then I folded the note and carefully placed it underneath my pillow.
In the morning, I was happy to find that the note was gone and there was money in its place. The note worked, just like my mom said it would!
Today’s prompt for The Daily Post asked: As kids, we’re told, time and again, that lying is wrong. Do you believe that’s always true? In your book, are there any exceptions?
Together, my mother and sister kept my belief of the Tooth Fairy alive. They may not have lied, but they certainly didn’t tell the whole truth.
“In every half truth, there is a whole lie.” ~ Yiddish Proverb
Sometimes parents don’t tell the whole truth in order to keep the smile on their child’s face.
What have you not been entirely honest about with your kids to keep or make them happy?
In this case, yes there was a sweet exception. Such a precious memory 🙂
I agree. Sometimes exceptions have to be made to keep the smile on our children’s faces. 🙂
Memories like the one you related are so great because they’re something that can’t taken away.
That is very true. Many things can be taken from us, but our memories last a lifetime, and bring smiles each time they’re remembered.
That was a perfect response from your mother- and look how you remember it all these years later. 🙂 It certainly wasn’t a lie in the true sense of the word at all
Maybe it wasn’t a lie, but is wasn’t the whole truth either. 🙂 I thought it was a great response too. She saved me from having a very sad experience.
That was a lie and excellent mothering all at the same time! LOL
I agree on both! She turned what could have been a tragic experience for a little girl into a wonderful memory.
Smart mom! You all reacted just as it should be, including the tooth fairy, Me Who.
She sure is. Mothers have some quick thinking skills. 🙂 The tooth fairy did great and I felt so special that she had read my note.
I’m not sure….I’ll have to ask my kids if they remember things I told them. But then again…..if they still believe them, maybe I should just leave those things alone. 😉
That’s a good point. Maybe it would be better not to ask. They may still be waiting for Santa. 🙂
Let’s leave this one unanswered for now….. 😉
I had forgotten about the tooth fairy. Back then, we wanted to get our teeth out so that we would be visited. Now we worry ourselves sick about trying to keep them in our mouths.
Isn’t that the truth! Interesting how everything turns opposite as we grow older.
Life as a child should be magical, not too many crazy, mean or hurtful things happening. I feel bad when children don’t get a solid core, firm foundation to move ahead in life, knowing they are loved and protected. I have told plenty of white lies, (when I was a single mother of 3 kids, they never knew why the electricity or water were turned off or other serious things, since I would scramble and borrow from Peter to pay Paul… so to speak!) My kids, now as parents, know what it took to be who I was never taking from the government, but providing their every need. I would clean houses while they were at their Dad’s or babysit extra hours to buy them their Christmas gifts…
I think your story and your mother’s solution was magical and wonderful. This is how childhood should be, as much as possible. Now, those children in war-torn countries, when some have serious diseases and no food in their bellies, my heart and mind feels so sad for them. We can only take care of who we have around ourselves, sometimes being able to share when budgets aree stretched. Helping out others is a good way to alleviate guilt.
It sounds like you raised your children very well by teaching them to be self reliant and to keep moving forward no matter what happens. Keeping the details of financial problems away from our children keeps them from having to share that burden with us. Some would call that a lie, as it is technically, but others would call it protection. They probably grew up learning great lessons but believing that life was great just the way it was. Hard times are only hard if we let them be.
I agree with you about helping others. We should always have open hands and hearts to give to those who need, whatever that need may be.
That was a tough one for me, but I wanted the magic, the smiles, watching their childhood. I seriously don’t know how I did it, but I pretty much covered every question they asked according to their age. The only thing I kept from them was my anxiety and depression. Anxiety over driving somewhere was interpreted as I didn’t like to drive. I remember one incident which makes me feel extremely bad, I don’t want to look back upon it because it hurts. I can’t move forward reliving that moment over and over. So yeah, I told the white lies, and I tried to hide part of myself from them.
You know which lies were the most successful for me? Our youngest loved his pacifier. I told him the pacifier fairy would come and take them some day, to give to others who may need them. No big deal to him. The pacifiers disappeared, he asked and I told him the pacifier fairy took them. Told our daughter the same thing about bottles. She knew how to drink from a cup, but still wanted that bottle. So I got rid of them and told her the bottle fairy came and took them for other kids who really needed them. No big deal. But we still haven’t told them there isn’t a Santa 😉
I think basing the answers off of their age is a good way to handle things. Sometimes they can handle the whole truth and at other times only a portion of it. There is no need to burden out children more than necessary. Same goes with your anxiety. You were protecting them by giving them alternate explanations. They would have worried otherwise.
I love the pacifier and bottle lies! Those are great and sounds like they worked like a charm. Good idea. Hey, if they don’t know the truth about Santa yet, then might as well keep it that way. 🙂
When a young child – say, 5-years-old asks where babies come from, I didn’t say the cabbage patch, the corn field, or the stork. I thought about it for a while and gave them an age appropriate answer.
Actually, those three special beings saved me from myself. We talked, explored, and played with our imaginations–well, theirs, I went along for the ride.
My children are in their twenties and know that when they no longer believe in Father Christmas the presents will stop.
Needless to say they are firm believers.
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Oh Pecora. Will you adopt me?
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Yea why not
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Reblogged this on Marilyn Munrow and commented:
wow love this
Thank you for the Reblog!
When my son was a little lad, he lost his tooth under the car. He was as upset as you were. In the morning he found a shiny new coin just under the car.
Roll on 6 months and my daughter came downstairs shaking her head. “The tooth fairy doesn’t exist” she said . Really, how come?
I put a tooth under my pillow last night and it is still there.
mmm try again tonight.
I t has been there 2 nights ready and once under lucy’s pillow.
Go fetch the tooth for me…..
It was grey and old and looked like it had been under a car for 6 months.
In December Sarah recieved a reply to the letter she sent to Father Christmas, In the letter Father Christmas said his good friends the tooth fairy enjoyed the joke Sarah had played on her.
I love that story! Your kids sound like a lot of fun and smart too. I really like how your daughter got found out at the end. She was surprised I bet. Thank you for sharing that!
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I remember losing a tooth whilst I was eating an ice cream as a child. I was devastated. Lucky we had a great tooth fairy that knew these things. 🙂
When my Teen came to me a couple of years ago and asked whether Santa was real I asked her “What do you believe”? When she replied that she thought he was, my answer was “Then that is all that matters”.
She doesn’t believe any more and this year (as things are a little tight and she is now a teen) we told her that Santa wasn’t coming. She was devastated because even though she didn’t believe any more she loved the little surprises she found in her Santa sack. The Garden Gnome and I caved though and there will be a surprise under the tree for her on Christmas morning. 😉
While eating ice cream? Did you swallow it? It may still be swimming around down there somewhere. It’s good that your Tooth Fairy was in the know. 🙂
That’s a great way to not lie to your daughter. Just let her decide. Hard times can be difficult for kids, but I’m sure she’ll understand getting less presents this year. Even one gift from the heart makes most kids happy. It’ll be a great Christmas!
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Santa only ever brought little knick knacks and other fripperies to my children. They knew that anything big came from mum and dad and that is why some years the bigger presents weren’t all that amazing (due to finances). I felt so upset at the Teen’s reaction that Santa wasn’t coming this year when she explained that for her, finding the sack on Christmas morning was part of the magic of this time of year for her. Happily we found some nice teen-type, cheap fripperies that we have put away as a surprise for her.
Many things, lets keep them as young for as long as we can. My two little munchkins are growing up way too fast. Loved your story.
I agree with you there. They should appreciate all the childhood they can get, because adulthood comes way too quickly. Thank you!
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