Friday, May 1, 2009

Under the Pillow

this post originally published November 6, 2008

What is the going rate for a tooth these days? I put in a call to the Tooth Fairy and she has not returned any messages. She must be pretty busy. Nevertheless a tooth has fallen and it must be redeemed. When it was loose, oldest daughter protected it like it was gold, so it must be worth a bunch.

This morning as we were reading scriptures and preparing for our day, the hanging tooth fell out. Finally. With very little provocation. Just as we kept telling oldest daughter it would if she would allow us to help it on its way.

Right now it is tucked securely under oldest daughter's pillow. She insists upon this.
You need to know that it took a little bit of work for that tooth to be the only item under oldest daughter's pillow.

"under the pillow"
is where the greatest treasures are kept.

I don't know why. But this is how I found out: a few months ago I was changing oldest daughter's sheets. I lifted up her pillow and found beads and books. Ponies and pictures. Cards and a camera. I had to pause a moment to understand what all the trinkets were doing there. I couldn't wait to ask her about it. She told me that she keeps these things here to protect them because they are her favorite things.

And she sleeps with them there every night. So, this is how I know it was a chore to prepare the under the pillow space for the precious tooth. And when I returned from my meeting this evening, oldest daughter showed me the tooth. All alone under the pillow. And then she reassured me that all the other treasures had alternate accommodations for the evening. They are resting in the drawer of her night stand. A harder bed for sure, but one with no pressure from above. One thing is certain: I can imagine oldest daughter will have a more comfortable rest with only a tooth to contend with under the pillow.

Once when my older sister and her family spent the night at my house, she was to stay in the bedroom of oldest daughter. My sister questioned me about the trinkets under the pillow. We had forgotten to remove them before their stay. But my older sister, feeling un-adventurous and desirous for a good night's rest, was sensitive to the treasures of a six year old and found a suitable place for those treasures to pass the night. And they were returned to their under the pillow position as soon as she awoke.

When I was in the years of lost teeth, I never put my lost tooth (or anything for that matter) under the pillow. I just put it under a cup on the kitchen windowsill. That way I was sure it wouldn't get lost. (now having witnessed the special under the pillow spot, I know that it is impossible for things to get lost when placed under the pillow.) But, isn't it magic? That cute little fairy creeps in at night and exchanges money for your old tooth. The ones on the windowsill and the ones under the pillow.

So, I imagine the Tooth Fairy will quietly enter oldest daughter's room at any moment and claim that little front tooth. She will be grateful for the relocation of all the other toys, making the tooth the only treasure to be found under the pillow. And she will take that tooth and deposit a little reward.

And then, what does the Tooth Fairy do with those fallen teeth? Does she keep every tooth? Or does she just keep the first tooth a child loses? These are things that I wonder. Into the night.

And if I could,
I would take my little ones
and tuck them all under my pillow.
Because now I know
that's how you protect all your greatest treasures.


Heidi said...

Miss Elizabeth came home from school yesterday with the dangler in a little pink treasure box. Finally three days later it came out. And only an hour after school pictures were taken. They just keep changing by the minute! When will it slow down and let me enjoy them instead of worrying about the germs from the downstairs toilet that will kill them if the Swine Flu doesn't. Unfortunately the tooth went MIA and went the Tooth Fairy was looking for a place for her deposit at 11:00 at night it was to no avail. She'll try again tonight. A craftily folded dollar bill.

Summer said...

Steph...your posts are so cute. I know that I missed out on loads of fun when you all were in town....I miss HOME! How was Women's COnference?

Tink said...

Ah, that is completely precious that she keeps her most treasured items under her pillow! What a fun memory of your daughter you will always store with you.