Never turning down an opportunity to get ripped off, about a month ago, I fell for that whole Border’s, going out of business, 40% off sale, not knowing that it would be a prolonged, not really 40% off, event.
Nevertheless, I bought some books that I thought all three of my children would eventually enjoy, and might want to read more than once. One of those books was Peter Pan, not the Disney Peter Pan, but the real J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan. Just recently, I found out that the book I purchased and read was an abridged version. All I can say is thank goodness.
First of all, forget everything you think you know about Tinker Bell. The real Tinker Bell is evil, jealous and vindictive. You do know she almost succeeds in getting Wendy killed, because she is so jealous of her relationship with Peter Pan? Peter Pan’s no role model himself, manipulating to keep Wendy as his mother, despite the fact that her own mother loves her and misses her, out for real blood as far as Hook is concerned, and a little foul mouthed to top it all off. Let’s just say it was a little surprising.
It’s hard to say what my son thought of the book. From our discussion, I think a lot of it went over his head. I still don’t know what I think of the book, though I did find it a tad bit disturbing. In trying to make sense of the story, I could only come to the conclusion that the characters and story are a metaphor for the loss of playfulness, youth, and imagination that slowly disappears as we get older. I could be wrong.
But here’s what I remember most about the book, towards the end, there is a chapter called, Do You Believe in Fairies? When I read the title to my son, he immediately said, “I believe in Fairies. Do you know why?”
“No,” I answered.
“Because the tooth fairy bought me two dollars for my tooth.” He had lost a tooth two days prior.
I smiled and said, “I believe in fairies, too.”
Fast forward three weeks.
I came downstairs this morning and had forgotten about the tooth, and apparently, so had he. Then, about an hour into his morning, he saw a dollar laying on the counter and asked suspiciously, where it came from. I told him it was probably daddy’s money. He then said, “I forgot to check if the tooth fairy came.”
He ran upstairs and found his money. He didn’t make much of a big deal out it, which was unusual, but still, I didn’t give it much thought.
Then, my husband came downstairs and said, “Buddy, did the tooth fairy come?”
To which my son answered, “Yea, he bought me two dollars.” Nothing more.
After such a tempered response, from a boy who is anything but tempered, my husband came to me, wondering if first son still believed. I told him about our conversation, just a few weeks ago, assuring him, that yes, he still does believe.
My husband left. I sat down to coffee and was suddenly struck by a disturbing thought, a story, my son had told me about an argument he had gotten into with a girl in his class over SpongeBob. He told me the girl had made fun of him for watching SpongeBob Square Pants. She told him it was a baby show. He vehemently disagreed.
And then, I had another realization, something had changed within the last few weeks, school had started.
All of a sudden, I could envision my son, walking back into the classroom, after an exciting visit to the nurse, with his usual exuberance, eager to share the news that the tooth fairy would be visiting him that night.
If SpongeBob Square Pants was met with so much skepticism, I wonder how the tooth fairy was received?
All I know is, I’m not asking…and he’s not telling.
I know it’s coming. I know it as sure as day. The childhood wonderment, the magic, is slowly slipping away, and it makes my heart break, because once the tooth fairy is gone, she never comes back again. And like Peter Pan, sometimes, I just don’t want my children to grow up.