This letter is two years and eight teeth overdue. Let’s be honest. I don’t like you very much. You sneak into my child’s room in the middle of the night, climb into her bed and take her teeth. What is wrong with you? I mean, at least Santa leaves gifts wrapped in shiny paper, and the Easter Bunny gives sweet-smelling chocolate. But you and all your tooth-hoarding? Creep-y.
I know, I know. I drank too much wine last night and forgot to contact you regarding the swap. Instead, I brushed my teeth, put in my mouth guard and fell asleep watching The History Channel. Honest mistake and not the last time it’ll happen. But then before six this morning, Reagan stomped into my room to tell me the Tooth Fairy had forgotten her…again. I messed up, and how did I cover up the Tooth Fairy mess-up? With a big ol’ lie. I fed her some rubbish excuse that she didn’t get to bed in time, and The Tooth Fairy ain’t got time for that.
And I hate all your crazy-ass rules. According to you, we must hide the tiny tooth in a microscopic box and put it under our child’s sleeping head. Then you come in there in the middle of the night when you’ve most likely had a bourbon or two. I worry about you tripping on something or poking my daughter in the eye whilst making the switch. Too many things can go wrong. Lightning could crash at the exact moment you take her tooth, illuminating your hunched figure and tattered wings near her bed. Her alarm clock could become possessed and beep manically, waking her in time to catch you sliding a wad of cash beneath her head.
Your rules set us up for failure. Ridiculous. Why can’t we just have our kid toss her tooth in a zip-top bag and tape it to the front of her bedroom door? Then there’s no chance of waking her up when you swap out the tooth for some cash. Bada boom, bada bing. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy.
And while we’re on the subject of money, who is supposed to determine the cost of a tooth? I’ve heard anywhere from $1.00 – $10.00 is the going rate. You know kids talk, right? When I was little, we all got fifty cents. Inflation may be a mother, but you tooth fairies need to get your collective stuff together. Kids are going to start wondering why they got more than their neighbor in school. We should go low. It’s a tooth, for God’s sake. If they want money, make them do manual labor. Losing a tooth is zero work.
My kid likes to hang on to hers until it literally flies out while she’s whistling. She won’t let anyone yank it or tie a string around it. Why is that deserving of a crisp bill?
In closing, I’m tired. So tired, so I’m throwing in the tooth treasure box on this relationship. I mean it. We’re tossing the teeth in the trash and forgetting you ever existed.
Tonight, my daughter is having a sleepover with a friend. It’s not her first sleepover. She’s had several this year. But this pang in my heart, loss of breath in my lungs, gets no easier with time.
I worry about her, miss her laugh, and wish to hold her while she’s gone.
It’s not any different from the first time she slept through the night with no need for milk or snuggles at three a.m.. And just like when she didn’t need me to catch her at the bottom of the playground slide anymore.
I’m sure it’ll be the same or harder when she goes on her first date, drives the car alone with her new licence, or moves into her first apartment.
Little by little, she grows up and away.
And bit by bit, I have to let go.
Knowing this, I look forward to tomorrow when she sails through the front door sharing sleepover stories about the brownies they baked and the front walkover she finally had the courage to complete. I’ll bend to smell her coconut shampoo.
At least for now, she still lets me brush her hair.
Drive four hours with your two best friends to the mountains for some kid-free mom time skiing on the slopes.
Make sure you leave the dads with enough frozen peas and baby carrots. If you don’t, the kids won’t eat their veggies and you’ll be freaking out for two full days instead of letting your messy bun down.
When you arrive at your tiny condo at the bottom of the mountain, light the fire and drink too much wine. This won’t work unless you all drink, so fill all red plastic cups and blame it on the switchbacks and fog for needing a little something, something, to calm your nerves.
Go to bed at four in the morning, because nothing good happens after two a.m., and you want – no need – to remove yourself from motherhood and be nothing good for the night.
Wake up at ten a.m. when your husband calls to see how the slopes are. The lifts opened one hour ago and you’re in no shape to be getting out of bed just yet. At this point, you know you won’t be putting sticks on your feet and sliding down any kind of hill. Not gonna happen.
Eat all the vegan brownies and Tylenol for breakfast with Mom 2. Joke about how you’re all too old to be drinking that much and going to bed that late. Lay back down until the Tylenol kicks in.
Plug your ears when Mom 3 wakes up and barely makes it to the toilet to puke. She’s obvi a total rookie.
Once you’ve all showered, go to the top of the mountain for greasy lunch. Burgers, sweet potato fries (because they’re healthier, duh), and Bloody Marys all around. You choke down the Bloody Mary. It’s not that you want to drink, but hey – hair of the dog, amirite?
Decide to go tubing to salvage what’s left of the weekend.
In the minivan, aka The Swagger Wagon, share funny stories like, “And once, my daughter confused a pantyliner for a giant Band-aid.” You’re a mom after all, and you can’t ever fully leave your children at home, even on a moms’ trip. It’s okay, though, because this is what you needed. Not the booze or skiing, but a weekend with your friends full of fun.
Hear Mom 2 gasp, interrupting the laughter.
See a deer jump in front of your moving tank, slam on the brakes, get a new understanding via personal experience for the term “deer in headlights.” That fucker won’t move.
Connect with her eyes, illuminated by your car’s front end. Realize she is your spirit animal just before she turns in a too-late-dumbass attempt to run away.
Only hit her in the butt going ten miles an hour before she scampers off, uninjured into the woods. Pull over and cry for her with your friends.
After you pull yourself together, finish driving to the tubing hill.
Once there, laugh, careen down the hill, act like a child.
Have fun. Have so much fun.
After tubing, eat a pile of chips and salsa and tell dirty jokes with your friends because the best cure for a hangover is laughter and carbs. Always more carbs.
Brighter than the shade of rubies in my ears, deeper than the scarlet smeared on my lips, richer than the aged merlot in my glass, is the love my crimson heart carries for you after sixteen Christmases together.