My son, Nicholas is nine-years-old. Like many children diagnosed with Prader Willi Syndrome, he has the spirit of a child who is much younger. So, he believes with all his soul, in things like the Easter Bunny, Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy.
There is only one problem with this. Our Tooth Fairy suffers from a very bad case of forgetfulness. Much like my mother, and her diagnosis of dementia, our little sprite can't seem to remember anything! She is a Forgetful Fairy.
Two days ago, Nicholas announced to me that he had lost a tooth. With blood pooling in his mouth, the errant tooth clutched in his small hand, he ran to me shouting...
"That's great Nicholas," I said, as I grabbed a towel to wipe the blood from his mouth and lead him toward the sink. He took some large mouthfuls of cold water and spit it into the sink.
"Mom, the Tooth Fairy is going to be sooo happy!" he explained, as water ran down his chin.
"Yes, she is." I answered, making a mental note to myself to remember to find some cash.
I felt a tinge in my stomach as I hoped this time I would remember. There have been many close calls with both Weston and Nicholas, where I have almost forgotten to remove the tooth from the pillow and replace it with coin. For some inexplicable reason, I just can't seem to remember to do this. I have no problem with my impersonations of both Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny. In fact, I would give Walt Disney himself a run for his money. But putting on a pink tutu and waving a magic wand seems to elude my motherly capabilities.
"Let's find an envelope!" I tell Nicholas, hoping this will help me to jog my memory tonight.
We find an envelope, and place Nicholas's tooth carefully under his pillow together. I guess it is not surprising that the next morning I am awoken by....
"Moooooom, the Tooth Fairy didn't come!!!!!!!"
A sick feeling comes over me as I have done exactly what I feared.......I forgot! My mind races to think of something clever.
"Let me see Nicholas." I say, giving my mind a few extra minutes to find some genius.
"Wait a minute," I say to Nicholas, "Look!" "Mommy forgot to seal the envelope. That explains it! The Tooth Fairy magic doesn't work unless the envelope is sealed. No wonder! All we have to do is seal it up and she will come tonight. Please forgive me Nicholas, Mummy wasn't thinking."
I feel better since I am able (in a way) to apologize to Nicholas. I feel terrible, of course, because I have still forgotten him. Nicholas, true to his innocent spirit, believes me completely. We place the sealed envelope under his pillow and I beg myself, this time, to write a note to myself.
The next morning, I bolt upright in bed, as once again, I hear my disappointed son calling to me from his room. I fly downstairs, grab my wallet and pull out a $5 bill. Since the fairy is so forgetful, I am hoping the extra cash will ease my guilt. I run quickly and quietly upstairs and into his room, where he is staring with disbelief at his envelope...once again forgotten by the evil Tooth Fairy.
"Mom she forgot again!" he shouts, ready to cry.
"Wait a minute Nicholas," I say, "Sometimes the Tooth Fairy is really busy, especially when a lot of kids lose their teeth in the same night. Let's look around, maybe it fell off the bed."
Like a magician hiding his secrets, I turn my back to my son and place the fiver on the floor beside his bed.
"Why don't you look over here!" I suggest.
"Mom LOOOOOOOOK!" he shouts as he grabs the money.
"A FIVE DOLLAR BILL!"
Nicholas' face is beaming. His smile shines brightly as he gingerly holds the five dollar bill with both hands as if it is gold.
"I'm rich!" he explains and gives me a giant, bone-crushing hug.
No, Nicholas, I think to myself, it is I who am rich. For despite my bad parenting, my shameful and inexplicable forgetfulness, I have a son who will always love me....even if I am a Terrible Tooth Fairy.