sparkler

“Mommy,” I heard his voice whisper in the early hours of Saturday morning.

“Kane, it’s way too early to get up.” I had an edge of irritation in my voice. I knew that, whatever time it was, it was way too early for the average human to function on a weekend.

I had a feeling that he was waking me up for one of three reasons, two of which were completely legitimate:

  1. He’d had a bad dream.
  2. He’d had an accident.
  3. He felt he’d had enough sleep, which was not the same as me having had enough sleep.

But I didn’t expect the fourth reason.

“The Tooth Fairy didn’t come!” he said, his voice reflecting that he was near tears.

Oh shit, I thought.

I stumbled out of bed, still half asleep. I glanced at my bedside clock. It was just before 5 AM. Definitely too early for the average person to wake up.

“What do you mean she didn’t come?” I said, trying to buy myself a minute to reduce the fuzz in my mind. I do not function well when I’m tired, and I’m definitely not on my A game with intelligent responses.

“Mommy! I went to sleep and I woke up and she hasn’t come!”

We both walked into his room, and he lifted up the pillow. There it was, plain as the almost budding morning sun, his little tooth in a plastic baggie under his pillow.

I gave him a hug, “Oh buddy, I don’t know why she didn’t come. It’s still early. Maybe she’s on her way.”

He started to problem solve. “Yeah, maybe she hasn’t come yet. She probably had lots of other houses to go to first.”

“Maybe if you go back to sleep, she’ll be here in the next couple of hours,” I said, but I could see by the look on his face that he had no intention of going back to sleep.

“Why don’t you go to the bathroom?” I asked. “I’ll keep looking, just in case.”

He walked into the bathroom and closed the door, while I ran to the other side of the house to retrieve the Tooth Fairy’s gift. She had actually been prepared earlier the night before, but unless the fairy leaves a note to remind herself, she’s not very good at remembering.

Jeff asked from the bed, “What’s going on?”

“The Tooth Fairy FORGOT to come!” I said.

“Oh no,” he responded in sleepy support.

I returned to the other side of the house before Kane came out of the bathroom. Whew, I thought, but I didn’t know how I was going to recover.

As he appeared in the doorway of his bedroom, he said, “Maybe the Tooth Fairy got so busy that she’ll need to come tomorrow night instead. I hope she’s okay. You do think she’ll come tomorrow, don’t you?”

Oh, my sweet boy. He was legitimately concerned that she was okay, and he trusted that she just got waylaid.

To turn cute into adorable, his voice also had a slight English accent when he said “the Tooth Fairy.” He’d learned about the Tooth Fairy through a Peppa Pig episode. Then, we’d bought an accompanying book at the book fair at school. He reads it with an English accent. He even pronounces “Peppa” with a slight “er” on the end when he adds the “and,” as in “Pepper and George.”

“Do you think she’ll come?” he asked again.

“I’m sure she will if she couldn’t make it tonight, but I think we should look around a little more. Did you look everywhere around your bed or just under the pillow?”

“Just under the pillow,” he answered.

“Why don’t you show me where you looked.”

He climbed into bed and lifted up his pillow. “I looked under here and saw that my tooth was still there.”

“Did you look under big red pillow?”

Big red pillow is aptly named because it is actually a big, red pillow. It’s as uniquely named as Bear, Kitty, and Plane, the plushy trio that are Kane’s best stuffed friends. He fell in love with the oblong-shaped, faux-fur, garnet-colored pillow in a store when he was 2, so we brought it home. It’s now more like a long, stitched-together-in-three-places pancake of a pillow, but he still sleeps next to it every night.

“No, but…ohhh, there it is!” he exclaimed as he pulled out another small plastic baggie.

It contained an orange post-it note, a five-dollar bill, and a shiny quarter. The first time, the Tooth Fairy made a mistake of veering from the Peppa Pig script. She left a five-dollar bill, but neglected to leave a shiny coin. Not. Good.

“But why wouldn’t she take the tooth?” he asked.

“Hmm, that is odd that the Tooth Fairy would leave your tooth, but I’m sure she had a good reason. Maybe her bag was too heavy.”

He looked confused. Nice. Sleepyhead logic at its best again…a tiny tooth is not heavier than a bag with a coin.

“Um, or maybe she just forgot. That Tooth Fairy is a busy gal. I bet she’ll be back for your tooth. Let’s leave it on your dresser, right here by the door, and you can get some more rest.”

“I’ll just rest in my closet with my animals.”

I returned a few minutes later, told him that he really should try to get some more sleep so the Tooth Fairy could come visit again, and said that I was going to bed.

“You already told me that, Mama.”

Later that morning, we examined another note that was left on the dresser where the tooth had been. It read “Oh, silly Tooth Fairy…I forgot my tooth! ❤ ❤ ❤”

“I was awake in my closet the whole time, and I didn’t hear her,” Kane puzzled out loud. “How did she get in here?”

“Well, you know, the Tooth Fairy is magical. And, when she wants to, she can be very, very quiet.”

About Tabitha MacGowan

Hi, I’m Tabitha. I’m an author, autism parent, and advocate of acceptance, compassion, and love. I believe that we are all here for each other and we can co-create the world we want to live in. My book, Phig and the Eaven Prophecy, is a delicious fantasy written from the perspective of a boy on the autism spectrum. I invite you to join me and be a part of my magical world!

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