family tree

the tooth fairy         

I hardly ever write about my son Jaxon, nor have him write. There will be no record of all the joy and character he brought to my life. We have had so many wonderful bedtime conversations that I wish I had recorded. But let me try and make an exception, albeit brief and written, and save it - better yet, send it to someone who cares and who will hopefully always be close to my family.

Tonight, Jaxon lost his first molar tooth (well, at least I think so - it's a back one). It had been an interesting evening already, he getting mad and throwing a water bottle at me for taking away his copmuter privileges through the end of the school year because of a relatively minor scuffle at school (but that's another story). However, his resilient self recovered well, and we had a nice dinner and watched an interesting program on the Discovery Channel "Understanding: Time". He had been playing with his tooth, trying to get it in a way he could chew, and out it came, much to our mutual satisfaction.

He debated on putting it under his pillow tonight because he wanted the "Tooth Fairy" (the quotes were his;-) to have a couple days to prepare a good present. I told him it wouldn't make a difference and that seemed to satisfy him. I was wrong.

He took an unusually long time to get into bed, but often spends five minutes reading or somehow stalling He smiled as I tucked him in. I guess it was a mischevious smile as he had talked about setting up a camera or audio recorder or alarm or something - nothing I couldn't handle. I was wrong.

I worked until after midnight, then went to give him my usual check and my goodnite kiss. Thankfully, I remembered about the tooth. I had decided to hold back the Wallace and Grommit DVDs, not just to reduce present proliferation (he was already getting $3 in quarters), but also because he might have seen them in my closet. He hadn't seen the laser keychain, so that and the quarters were slipped under the pillow.

It was touch and go and made him stir. The keychain rattled inside and the plastic package scraped the pillow case. The house heater and fan turned-off and I lost my background noise cover. I accidentally brushed against his hair. All of a sudden my heart was beating and my hands were trembling and I felt like I was in Mission Impossible.

Mission completed and I was backing away when I remembered the tooth - I had to fetch it. I hadn't felt it, but maybe he put it in deep. Sure enough, in a small metal case - but inside his pillow case with the weight of his head closing the opening. Clever boy. But a heavy sleeper. I worked it out like threading a new string as a tie in the hood of a sweatshirt.

I'm now in bed, tired, and decide to take a look at his tooth. In the box, he had wrapped it in tissue. But the 'it' wasn't his tooth, it was a note. Maybe the tooth was somewhere in the tissue. Nope. What does the note say? "Clue #1: Green Blaster". What?! I can't believe he has setup a game. I'm too tired for this, but I realize he is challenging me - the tooth fairy would be able to find the tooth, regardless. I had to find the tooth. But I had no idea what a "Green Blaster" was. And it was dark. But he had me - the tooth had to be found. Could Dad, a mere mortal, find the tooth without fail, without waking him up?

Using his flashlight, I carefully rumage around for five minutes and find a squirt gun called the "Green Blaster", in which was clue #2: "Spitfire - you're in the game" ;-). I knew he had a Spitfire model somewhere, but couldn't find it. After five minutes I started to become concerened. What if the clues were too hard, numerous, or wrong?

I decided to go off-trail and look for clues, which were so far written on white index cards. Sure enough, I found one in embedded in his sport cards that not only got me back on the trail, but ahead a few steps: "Clue #4: Flashlight". Ha! In the very flashlight I was holding was the next clue, or hopefully, the tooth itself! Not that lucky, "Clue #5: Apple Works File".

I felt like I was in check, but fortunately not mate - the computer was already booted (nice kid - he would have had me if I had to boot the computer: bootup music). I found Appleworks and went to open "Recent Documents". There was a document from Father's Day pronouncing me the "Best Dad in the World" which made me smile. But I really smiled when I found the file marked "Clue #6". When I opened the file and read "upper deck cards", my heart sank. Perhaps it was a mistake. The sport cards were on the upper deck of his chest-of-drawers, but maybe there was another upper deck, or some other cards - no, that was it: a circular dead-end. On purpose or by accident? Didn't matter, the tooth fairy would be able to smell that tooth.

I had to jump trail again. How lucky - I found clue #8 in the CD case of his mystery stories! "Achoo, I need a tissue" was a no-brainer, which lead me to clue #9 in the Korean dictionary. I picked up the book and out fell another white index card. But this time it wasn't a clue, it was "My Tooth", and there it was!

I neatly put back all the discovered clues, including clue #1 on which I wrote, in my best curly tooth-fairy writing, "I don't know what a Green Blaster is - good thing I can smell teeth", and finally proudly went to bed after havnig met Jaxon's tooth fairy challenge.

This story was sent to me by Lance Welsh, March 2004.