About a year ago, Tornado A lost a front tooth. With the excitement and seriousness of any five-year-old, he placed it in his homemade tooth pillow and placed it under his bed right before he went to bed at 8pm.
And I promptly forgot about it.
Until I was getting dressed the next morning in the dark in my bedroom while Tornado E slept in my bed.
Well, at least, I remembered the tooth before Tornado A did, and I would do my classic move of “Did you look underneath the bed?” and then toss the dollar on top of the bed. Then the boy would look on the bed in disappointment and wonder how the money got there. Weird.
As soon as I was dressed, I extracted my wallet from my purse. I opened it up and pulled out the first bill. I have a system, small bills in front, moving to larger bills in back. Not nearly as cool as Matt Murdock’s system, but we can’t all be as cool as Matt Murdock, and this system works well.
Like a ninja, I crept into the boys’ bedroom, removed the tooth from its pillow, and placed the bill in the pocket. I stalked out of the room, back into my room. I tossed the tooth into the trash with a slight clang.
Yes, I used to keep their teeth. All their baby teeth that were not lost on the way to the tooth pillow. Until I looked into the special box that was holding the teeth. Then I realized I looked like a serial killer with trophies. Out they all went.
As I was doing my hair, the boys woke up and started getting dressed. Tornado A, determined to beat his brother’s to breakfast, was the first dressed and into the kitchen, where my dad asked if the tooth fairy came.
I curled my hair with a smug smile as Tornado A ran by back to the bedroom. I was on the next section when he ran by again. That’s right, folks; I have this parenting thing down. Then I heard:
The tooth fairy gave me TWENTY DOLLARS!!!
I put down the curling iron and ran out into the kitchen, where Tornado A was dancing around the room, waving a twenty dollar bill. What stupid person puts her biggest bill in the front of her wallet? My dad and I made eye contact. I ducked out of the room, laughing. I couldn’t catch my breath as I ran back to my room, pulled out my wallet, and saw the dollar bill still sitting in the wallet.
I overheard my dad.
Papi: Tornado A, that’s a lot of money. Do you think it was a mistake?
Tornado A: No, the tooth fairy never makes a mistake.
Papi: Do you think the tooth fairy wanted you to share it with your brothers?
Tornado A: No!
Papi: Do you think the tooth fairy wanted you to share it with Mommy?
Tornado A: No!
Papi: That’s a lot of money for a kindergartner, do you think you should donate some of it?
Tornado A: No!
I walked back into the room. My dad looked at me. I shrugged. I was a long term sub; I got paid half of pennies; I could use that $20. But I couldn’t take it from my boy. It was my mistake.
Me: I’m sure Tornado A already has plans for it.
Tornado A: Can we go to the store this weekend?
This is my dad’s favorite story to tell. I wonder if it reminds him of another blonde kindergartner with deep-set blue eyes who found $5 dollars in a church parking while walking to church one Sunday morning.
My dad: Fae, do you think someone dropped that on accident?
Me: No, Daddy. It’s from God.
My dad: It could be someone’s tithe. They could be giving it to God.
Me: And God gave it to me because I tithe every Sunday at your church and at Mommy’s church.
My dad: But Fae, it might be important to someone. That’s a lot of money. I have to ask around.
Me: But, Daddy, God gave it to me.
I dutifully handed it to my dad, who asked around. When he returned it to me because he couldn’t find any one to claim it, I insisted that it was a gift from God.