|Youngest daughter with the Bean and the Sprout.|
“How does the tooth fairy know my tooth fell out?” she asked, tucking it under her pillow.
“Fairies just know these things,” I assured her. “It’s their job.”
Late that night when she was sound asleep I tiptoed into her room and exchanged the tooth for a shiny quarter. “Understand sweet girl,” I whispered, “that fairies come in all sorts of guises.”
She was a serious child who asked why more often than her siblings. As my youngest, she and I spent whole days together while the older kids were in school. We would wander through the woods looking for elves and gnomes, flop down among the wildflowers in a meadow and cloud gaze, race rainstorms home across the hill and make angels when winter snows fell deep. She would look at me and wonder what held up the clouds, what made the snow fall down, and what caused the wind to blow. We would hold hands and together we’d look out at the world in awe.
In any relationship, the one who teaches and the one who learns constantly change places. Being a mother has allowed me to experience both ends of the emotional spectrum—deep joy and profound fear. There were times when I had to deliberately choose joy over fear or I never would have allowed my children out of my sight.