The Gateway Myth

That’s it!  I’m convinced that the doorway to adulthood is guarded by the Tooth Fairy.  I reluctantly watched as Maggie crossed that bittersweet threshold a while back.  Apparently, today was the day for Shannon to peak through the door.

I was in the shower, when she walked into the bathroom. Not an unusual occurrence in my house. But she didn’t turn on the water to brush her teeth and I didn’t hear her opening the cabinets or moving around at all.  Silence and stillness. And then…

“Mom?” I could hear something big in the tone of her voice.
“Yeah?” What’s it gonna be?
“Gail’s mom told her that she is the Tooth Fairy.” Gulp. “And Santa Claus.”
Oh crap. Here we go again… But this time it will be different.  I have to work harder this time.  Shannon is a cynic, an I-only-believe-it-when-I-see-it kind of gal. Brace yourself!
“Oh, yeah?” Think, think, think.
“Yeah, she said she’s both of them. She said all of the presents that Gail ever got were really from her.”
“Really? So then…” Don’t lie. Don’t lie, but don’t tell the truth. Not yet. Maybe next year. “So then did Gail’s mom come to our house all those times and give us presents and put money under your pillow?” Deflect her. That’s it!
“No. She is Santa in their house, and you and Daddy are Santa in our house.” Yeah, I knew that wouldn’t work.

Silence. Okay, just wait. She has to brush her teeth, get ready for school. She will stop asking questions eventually. Won’t she?

“But,” Oh, she’s gonna keep going.
“I know you can’t be Santa Claus. You never would have bought an American Girl doll!”
“No, I would never spend 100 bucks on a doll.” What a racket. 100 dollar dolls.
“And you would’ve talked to Aunt Shelly to know she was giving us those dolls that year. “
“Yup. I sure would have.” I wish I had!  Would’ve saved 200 bucks!

“Buuuut…” Uh oh.
“This year I didn’t show you my wish list, and I didn’t get anything I asked for.” Yeah, what can I say here? I got nothin’. I tried to intercept the Santa letter but, no luck.
“And last year I saw a picture on Daddy’s phone of unwrapped presents. And it was in the Camera Roll before the pictures of Christmas. You told me the phone shuffled the photos around.” Yes, that was quick thinking on my part!
“But it didn’t! It doesn’t do that! I know it doesn’t do that.” Nothin’ I tell ya. I cannot think of a single thing to say. Trapped in my shower by truth and logic!

“Aaaaand…” Oh man, there’s more.
“Once I woke up and Daddy’s hand was under my pillow.” Ha! Oh, I almost snorted with laughter right there. Thank goodness for shower curtains.
“When I asked him what he was doing, he said he wanted to know how much money the Tooth Fairy gave me.”
“Well then, that’s what he was doing.” Short, simple answers. Don’t embellish, you’ll just dig yourself deeper into this hole full of lies.
“He knew exactly how much money there was, because it came from his wallet!
Sigh. I guess I’ll shave my legs, again. I won’t be leaving for a while….  I know! Redirection! Here we go!
“Shannon, what time is it? It must be getting late?”
“It’s 8:00.”
“Oh, you better go on and get dressed.”

“So….?” Oh jayzus, now what?
“When are you supposed to tell your kids? At what age? When do people tell their kids?”
“Huh?” Is there a rule?  I’m wondering that myself right now?
“When do you tell them that you’ve been lying to them about everything their whole life?”
Gulp. There it is. The beginning of the end.
“When did your mom tell you?”  Okay, okay.  I got this one! Finally, an easy one.
“She never told me that!” Not a lie. “We never had that conversation at all.” Still, to this day.  “You know, if you don’t believe, you don’t receive.”
“Yeah, well, I think you and Daddy are the Tooth Fairy. Not Santa Claus, but definitely the Tooth Fairy.”

Foot steps. Door closing.  Phew. A reprieve. But knowing her, it won’t last. 

That just may have been the longest shower I’ve taken since I had kids.
So why do I still feel like it’s time to come clean?






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