Wonder is like grace, in that’s it’s not a condition we grasp; it grasps us. David James Duncan
Amy and I are not mall people or shopping people. So, we hate shopping at the mall. The mall changes me – I become an over-fed, over-stimulated consumer with less money and decidedly crotchety. Yet, when the two little guys were three and five, I had to take them to the mall for reasons now forgotten. It never occurred to me that it would be an event for them until I walked through the doors and their little hands tightened in mine. They were uncharacteristically silent and still; eyes wide, mouths open, they huddled up to me as we walked by shops, enthralled by the lights, colors and noise, a little scared and overwhelmed. To me, all excess and consumerism run amok. To them, it was a wonder, and they stayed close to me the whole time, never letting go of my hand.
“Daddy, the tooth-fairy didn’t come.” Nuts. Totally forgot to be tooth-fairy.
“Well,” I told him, “the tooth fairy died in a horrible farming mishap in Dublin, Ohio.” No, actually, I didn’t say that, but it did cross my mind. Thinking fast and noting it was Sunday I said; “Ah, of course not bud, the tooth fairy doesn’t work on Sabbath. Let’s try again tomorrow.” (Amy had to hide a snort.) This actually mollified him a bit. Sadly, just last week, Richey came snuffling into the room with the same complaint.
“What happened to the tooth-fairy?” he asked. (Let’s just say we won’t be written up in parenting magazines anytime soon.) For a moment, I considered it a small act of grace that Richey, too, lost his tooth on a Saturday night. As I begin to launch into my tooth-fairy Sabbath observance explanation, Robby my budding cynic blurts out:
“NO, IT’S BECAUSE THE TOOTH FAIRY ISN’T REAL. THE TOOTH FAIRY IS JUST MOM AND DAD!” Continue reading