Sequoia’s tooth has fallen out.
She left for bed an hour ago with it in a little glass jar full of water.
I rummage through my treasures intent on finding something precious enough to give my eight-year old daughter. I pause, torn between a tiny paua shell and a small colourful stone.
The fairies have left a paua shell for her before and the colourful stone may have been given to me by Sequoia.
I decide to risk the stone...
hoping I am wrong or that she won't recognize it. I drop it into an identical glass jar full of water that I will soon take out to her room. It looks so unconvincing I decide to sit it on top of a two dollar coin.
This is rare.
We all know Sequoia’s fairies don’t leave money. They have always preferred to leave her gifts from nature instilling in her that the simple beautiful things in life are to be treasured above money.
The next morning she holds up the stone and I watch her examine it closely.
“This stone may be mine.”
“Really?” I say coming over to look at it with her. A ‘caught in the act’ feeling surfaces and feeling nervous I hold back an impulse to burst out laughing. Instead I say, “Do you think there are cheeky fairies who hide things from people then return them in exchange for teeth?”
Sequoia smiles at the thought then adds, “Actually I’m not so sure I have seen this stone before. It might just look like one I had once."
Yesterday Sequoia had asked me if the Tooth Fairy was real.
I somehow managed to evade the question without feeling like a liar. She seemed to move on quickly, strangely refraining from demanding the truth once and for all. Almost, I thought, as though she didn’t want to know.
Is it my imagination or does she understand my dilemma?
I think of her precious little tooth tucked away in a safe place with four others not far from where we stand now and I feel trapped.
Sequoia still has 15 teeth yet to fall out. I thought that the whole Tooth Fairy thing would have been over before she was old enough to know it wasn’t real! I did not see this coming. I can feel a mild panic rising.
What am I to do?
This just won't stick in another year! Then what will I tell her? That the Tooth Fairy had been real, but this year they didn’t come and so we had to step in? Or, that the whole thing had been a trick all along?
Lately I have heard myself speaking a bit too loudly of magic and goodness, trying to convince her and perhaps myself that it truly exists. I have found myself wanting to follow her every move, my hands poised, ready to hold all that childlike purity in like slapping patches on a leaky bucket.
I suddenly feel unreasonably tearful.
If there is no Tooth Fairy then what’s left?
Bernadette Marama Gavin
An excerpt from 'Made Beautiful by Scars- real women's stories'
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Copyright Made Beautiful by Scars book series 2016