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The Tooth Fairy

by Margaret Brennan 5 months ago in fact or fiction
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A Little Girl's Dilemma

It seems like only yesterday when my granddaughter, Stephanie was seven years old.

At the time, my son and his family lived in New York making visits infrequent, but enjoyable. Seeing them was always a special treat for me.

In the summer of 2005, one day during their visit almost became a disaster.

My son and his family arrived on a Saturday afternoon. While the house was in order and the bedrooms cleaned and ready for them, what I wasn’t prepared for was Stephanie’s loose tooth.

My daughter-in-law wasn’t too concerned thinking it would stay put for another two or three weeks, since it didn’t seem loose enough to fall out. The plan was a week-long visit with me, then they would head to central Florida for a week with Joanne’s mom, then back to New York.

We did whatever we could to make that week fun, interesting, and memorable.

On a beautiful, warm Tuesday, we decided to make a trip t a local nature park where we would have the opportunity to see animals such as wild boars, cows, steer, birds, and alligators. Our excitement grew since, even though we lived in Florida, we never made the time to see these magnificent animals close enough to take a picture or two.

We arrived at the park early and ate the picnic lunch we packed.

Not long after we finished eating, it was time to turn in our admission tickets and board the 2:00pm sight-seeing bus for the tour.

Anticipation grew. We were eager to begin our two-hour sight-seeing tour of these wild but magnificent creatures.

Yet, what began as a perfect vacation, turned out not to be the highlight of our week. After arriving home late that afternoon, we opted for a cookout of burgers and hot dogs for dinner with a side dish of homemade macaroni salad, a true family favorite.

My husband fired up the grill, my daughter-in-law and I set the table while my son and his children were having a delightful time in the pool.

Before we realized the time, the day was done, dinner finished, the sky turning dark, and the kids were getting ready for bed. We four adults stayed up watching TV and talking about the various shows we liked to watch. We laughed and had a few great moments talking about old times and family history, and then as the hours passed, we headed to our respective bedrooms.

Early the next morning, we were awakened by a loud scream. Not a frightened scream, but a very upset-sounding scream. It was my granddaughter.

Not trying to imagine the worse, all of us raced into her bedroom, expecting to see blood – or, or, we had no idea or what.

What we saw was Stephanie standing by the bed, hysterically crying, and sobbing as if her heart was broken while she held something in one clenched fist.

My daughter-in-law quickly wrapped her arms around her daughter to offer some comfort and said, “Steph, what’s wrong? Please tell me.”

Steph pulled away slightly, unfolded her tightly closed fingers, and exposed a tooth! Her tooth!

In between sobs, she said, “Mom, the tooth fairy won’t know where I am! She’ll never find me!”

Joanne looked away from Stephanie and looking at me, rolled her eyes as if to say, “that’s it?.” I put my hand across my mouth and stifled a laugh. Steph was always known as a little drama queen, but we never openly laughed at her. What we took for childhood drama, Steph always took as an earth-shattering dilemma.

We tried to console Steph, but it wasn’t easy. Then, as if a lightbulb went off in my head, I had an idea, but I knew it would have to wait a day. I didn’t yet, tell anyone of my plan.

The following day, Steph was still upset thinking how the tooth fairy didn’t know she was in Florida.

Steph tried to enjoy our trip to the wharf where we hoped to see the dolphins in the harbor. We ate lunch at a seafood restaurant, walked around a seaside village, and then headed home.

It was obvious that Steph was trying hard not to spoil the vacation for her family, but just as obvious that her heart was no longer enjoying it.

I pulled Joanne aside. “Let her stay up a bit later. You’ll see why when she falls asleep.”

Once Stephanie was asleep, I drove to the supermarket and bought a small bouquet of flowers.

Arriving home, I wrote a note, “Dear Stephanie, I am so sorry that your reward for giving me another tooth was delayed. I went to your house only to find you weren’t there. I visited your grandmother’s house in central Florida. You weren’t there either. Then, Bingo! Here you are in southwest Florida. I hope these flowers and your extra reward will put a smile your beautiful face. Love, your Tooth Fairy.”

My daughter-in-law laughed and thought it was a perfect idea. My husband and son thought I was crazy. In a few hours, we’d know. It was worth a shot. I quietly tucked a five-dollar bill under her pillow, put the flowers in a vase, and leaned the envelope with her name on it against the vessel holding the water and flowers. Exiting Steph’s bedroom, I crossed my fingers and went to bed.

The following morning, we hard, “MOM! MOM! Grandma! Come look!”

Again, we raced in the direction of her bedroom. She was holding her note and very excitedly said, The Tooth Fairly found me! She left me money AND flowers! My tooth that I put under my pillow is gone! Mom, she found me! I don’t know how she did it, but she did. She found me!” Stephanie rambled.

My daughter-in-law looked at me and we shared a secret smile. My husband and son looked at each other and I heard my son say, Well, I’ll be damned!”

What might have been a sad week for my granddaughter’s vacation, turned out to be a happy surprise and a moment to remember.

Yes, what a moment and what a memory - thanks to the Tooth Fairy and a supermarket that didn’t close early.

fact or fiction

About the author

Margaret Brennan

I am a 75 year old grandmother who loves to write, fish, and grab my camera to capture the beautiful scenery I see around me.

My husband and I found our paradise in Punta Gorda Florida where the weather always keeps us guessing.

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