On Monday, Zeca lost her first tooth and, that night, she excitedly placed the tooth in the little treasure chest given to her by the dentist and tucked it under her pillow for the tooth fairy. The next morning, the tooth was gone and there was a dollar in its place. She came downstairs and proudly showed off her dollar bill and flashed the toothless smile that made it all possible. Last night, we were cuddling at bedtime and had the following exchange:
Zeca: Is the tooth fairy real? Me: You really want me to tell you? Zeca: I want to know the truth.
I took a moment - not because I was thinking about my response but because I was thinking about how quickly time passes. I looked at her and could barely see the baby she once was. How did that happen?
Me: No. The tooth fairy is not real. Zeca: I knew it. Are you and mãe the tooth fairy? Me: Yes. Zeca: Thank you, mama. Thank you for telling me the truth.
She went on to explain that she suspected it was all a lie because a kid at school got $5 for a tooth and Miguel only got $1. She also had her doubts that the tooth fairy, being quite small, could carry all that money and still fly. After listing all the evidence she had amassed, she said, "You know, mama. You shouldn't lie to us, especially because you expect us to tell the truth." She is right, of course, and I briefly considered snuffing out the Easter bunny and Santa Claus but I didn't. I'm not quite ready but I know they are living on borrowed time.