Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Tooth Fairy

Do any of you mamas out there keep your children's teeth after they've come out?? My mom kept mine when I was a little girl. I remember finding a couple of prescription pill bottles in her dresser drawer that had my teeth in them. I was probably in the 1st or 2nd grade and, naturally, it made me very suspicious of the Tooth Fairy. The next time I lost a tooth, I placed the tooth on a note that I had written the fairy-in-question. It said, "Dear Tooth Fairy, Are you real? If you are, please leave a picture of yourself and sign your real name." I still have this letter in my baby book. I am assuming it was shortly after that that I stopped believing in the Tooth Fairy but I never thought it was weird that my mom had kept my teeth.
Yesterday, I was going through one of my own drawers and found many snack-sized ziploc bags...each with a tiny tooth in it. They were also labled with a name and date because, being a mother of 2, I had to know which tooth belonged to which child. There is even one labled "Jack's tooth, lost at Novrosky's in Sulphur" because that was the tooth that came out of his mouth while he was eating his hamburger. That is a very funny memory but did I HAVE to label and keep the tooth?? I knew the teeth were in there but I'd never really thought about them that much. I have to admit, I was a bit disturbed by it. It reminded me a lot of Jeff Goldblum's remake of the movie "The Fly", when he starts molting, losing his teeth and fingernails, and then keeps them in tiny jars in his bathroom medicine cabinet. Seriously, WHY did I still have them? Am I planning on giving them back to the kids when they leave for college...or get married...or have kids of their own?? "Oh, Mackenzie, that is so great that little Suzy lost her tooth...want one of yours back now?"
At the same time, I can't stand the idea of throwing something of theirs away. For further proof, you should see the collection of expanding file-folders I have for each child that hold almost every piece of paper they have brought home since preschool. After unpacking all of them these past 2 1/2 weeks, I am seriously thinking about chucking them. Not looking through them first, just throwing them out and not looking back. I try to think of it in this way: now that I am 30-something years old, would I want to still have all of my school work? Would I really take an entire day and look through all of my crafts, essays, and tests? The answer is pretty much "no way." Also, when is the appropriate grade to stop collecting these papers? When the kids stop bringing home crafty-things or when they simply stop showing me their work because they are too "old" for that or they've made a grade they don't want me to see?
I think that if I keep pictures and mementos from them that are really, super special it would make it ok to throw out their school work. Plus, I could really use the space in my "sentimental" closet. Yes, I now have a hall closet that is filled to the gills with all kinds of crap, I mean, special mementos from my past and from my children's past that I simply cannot be parted with. I'm a pack rat but I do have my limits and, as long as it fits in the closet, I'm golden.
So, in closing, the school papers are out....but I'm still not sure about the teeth. Maybe I'll ask what the kids think about it. OH! I can't do that! They still believe in the Tooth Fairy, I think! Ok, so I'll wait another year or so and re-evaluate then. Hey, don't judge me! It was only a short time ago that I threw away both of my home pregnancy tests!


  1. You should be doing a syndicated column. And maybe you should hold on to the teeth. You never know when you may need a few......years from now. Think GREEN! Recycle.

  2. You gotta keep notes like, " "Dear Tooth Fairy, Are you real? If you are, please leave a picture of yourself and sign your real name."

  3. Oh...and gotta tell you my own tooth fairy story.

    Zach was 4 and beside himself that the tooth fairy was going to come for his brother one night because they shared a room. So I had to tell him that I was the tooth fairy. He paused and you could see the wheels turning in his head and he responded with this, "How do you get to all those houses every night?"


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