Thursday, January 13, 2011

It was a sad, sad day...

I should learn to keep my sarcastic comments to myself. This blog could get me into trouble...

Today marked a right of passage for Abby, me and Chris. 

My last post, if you follow my bantering, sarcastic humor about my kids, their dilemmas and our comical lives in general, focused on my annoyance with Abby's extensive note to the Tooth Fairy. 

I do believe I wrote about what I wanted to tell Abby about the Tooth Fairy...and I quote..."Well, hon, because it's me and dad who are giving you the $$$ and I didn't even SEE the note...I really don't WANT to answer the note, ok?"

{{SIGH}} Do I really have to go on?
Yesterday, Abby lost another tooth. Excited as can be, she placed it under her pillow and went to sleep. (Probably without a note because she was still scarred from Sunday night).

I forgot about the tooth. C.R.A.P.

Oh I have reasons. I wasn't feeling well. I taught two classes yesterday. I did umpteen loads of laundry. I was TIRED. And literally was in bed - asleep - by 9pm.

Still. I woke and realized it immediately. What do I do? What should I say? What will she think? So what did I do? Well, I went and asked Chris, of course. Sometimes I get a wee bit too emotional about these things. He centers me. 

It was decided. We need to tell her. Today.

Now I know because of my big ol' mouth on this blog, I've already been the topic of conversation for my mothering skills or lack thereof. I know some moms can't fathom that I don't like to sell girl scout cookies. Other moms can't believe my baby gets binkies (and I have no intentions of taking them away anytime soon). So if you see where this is headed and you don't like it, STOP READING.

Who was going to tell her? I didn't have the heart. But I didn't want Chris to do it alone. After all, he is a man and sometimes the emotions that pour from our girls lead him to look at me with a look of such frantic uncertainty, coupled often with an eye roll or I wanted to be sure I was there. For moral support, you know. 

I got upstairs too late. He had already begun spilling the beans. She was crying, at first we thought because of what she had just learned. Then we realized she was sad because she lost the tooth...(to which I wondered...if you know there is no Tooth Fairy, why do you care where your tooth is?)

But I digress. 

Oh it's taken me awhile to get to the HEART OF THE STORY. Sorry. I babble. 
She was so sad. So so sad. I was crying. Chris was crying. He was holding her. Then she looked at both of us and said, 
"But what about the cookies for Santa?"
"What about the carrots for his reindeers?
"Who writes us the note?"

Oh my GOD, it was the most horrible I have felt in a long, long time. Here we have this beautiful, smart, friendly, talented almost-11 year old who, in her heart of hearts, truly, truly believed in Santa, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, the whole nine yards. 

But not anymore. Because, now, she knows. And it makes me so extremely sad. :( Sad for her. Sad for us. 
She enters junior high next year. She is growing too fast, and a big part of me feels that we cheated her into growing up even faster by telling her. 

We really thought she had some idea. 

She had no idea. :(

So, me and my big mouth. All that talk about "God, I wish she would figure it out already," was a bunch of crap. It killed me to see her so devastated. It killed me. Chris tried holding back tears but we were all a mess. A total mess. 

Oh yeah, we told her that she can still make Christmas special for her sisters and brother. We told her she is growing into a beautiful young woman and sometimes getting older is hard. We told her. But it didn't make us feel any better. 

So today, when I was rummaging through the piles of recycling papers in the kitchen, I stumbled upon that note to the Tooth Fairy. I held it. And yes, so what, I cried that it is the last letter my oldest daughter will write to her. And it's because of me. And that makes me feel even worse. That letter will be placed in her memory box. :(

Next Christmas, when Keely, Connor and Libby wait for Santa, Abby will know better. And that makes me sad. 

So maybe the decision we made today wasn't the right one. Maybe we could have pulled the wool over her eyes today when asked why the Tooth Fairy didn't leave her any money. I'll never know, will I? 

I will, however, have to get passed it, knowing that every child does, at some point, learn about Santa, and the Tooth Fairy, and the Easter Bunny, and they still turn out allright...

Right? :(


TLCinKs said...

Awww Tracey,
You and Chris are wonderful parents. I laughed, cried and smiled while reading your post.

Thanks for sharing this tough and yet tender rites of passage moment with your daughter and husband.

Miss ya bunches!


maura said...

great. now you have ME crying. well, this makes me a little sad as it brings back some memories for me. perhaps that's part of being the oldest... we're the ones who find this stuff out first. BUT - it has its advantages, too. once i found out, mom & dad included me in their scheme and i started to really look forward to helping them surprise you all. and, i got to stay up later, too! yeah!

for what it's worth, i'm almost 40 and i still believe in Santa. :) Abby will be ok... and you & Chris will be too. xoxo

Krista said...

Oh Tracey. I'm not a huge crier - but MAN did this have me in tears! But, you're right - we all learned the truth about the tooth fairy/santa etc. and we all REALLY did turn out just fine! When I found out about the tooth fairy, I never THOUGHT to ask about Santa! lol Such a smart girl you have there - I'm sure with a mom like you, she's going to be just fine. (you should put a copy of this blog post with that note. As a daughter, she's going to want to read this some day.) <3

Tracey's bookshelf: read

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
The Girl Who Played with Fire
The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest
My Sister's Keeper
Nineteen Minutes
The Pact
The Tenth Circle
Change of Heart
Keeping Faith
Handle with Care
House Rules
More Than It Hurts You
Amy and Isabelle
A Prayer for Owen Meany
A Widow for One Year
The 158-Pound Marriage
To the Lighthouse
Between the Acts
A Room of One's Own, and Three Guineas
The Help

Tracey English's favorite books »