|Jamie capturing it via iPhone|
Sankie, our oldest, lost his 4th tooth this past week. It had been hanging by a thread for the last week before it came out. It was halfway in, hanging crooked, and looked kind of purple at the exposed root—not real attractive. It fell out one morning as he was eating cereal.
Now, what happens next is where it gets interesting…
|Owen is just happy the blood is from Sankie!|
Owen and Jack, when they’ve seen Sankie’s teeth come out, tend to have that “I can’t look away…but I’m afraid to see it” look on their faces. It’s much like kids trying to pick up frogs or grass snakes. They’re interested but there is something that makes them squirmy. Sankie usually puts his tooth in a plastic baggie so it won’t be lost or taken by one of the other boys.
Later that evening, he grabbed the baggie and took it to bed with him and put it under his pillow. We didn’t even think about it and didn’t really notice. The next morning he comes out of his bedroom carrying the baggie with the tooth still in it. He awoke to a horrifying realization—the tooth was still there! ---The Tooth Fairy was a no-show!
It gets worse. So, we’ve let him down by forgetting to place some money under his pillow. No big deal for problem-solvers like us. We told him that he could put it back under his pillow again tonight and see what happens. He was cool with that. He puts his baggie on the counter for another roll of the dice the next morning.
Evening and bedtime roll around. He’s starting to look for his baggie with his tooth in it. It’s nowhere to be found. Then we realized that while we were cleaning up around the kitchen preparing for some people to come over—the baggie and tooth may have been thrown away. Sure, we were tempted to turn towards Jack or Owen and blame them, “If you took Sankie’s tooth…you won’t get your next three birthdays!!!” But we knew the truth. We lost it or threw it away.
I know. We’re in the category of worst parents ever. The first night we forget to play tooth fairy. The second night we throw away the tooth. He’ll probably need years of self-help books and syndicated Oprah and Dr. Phil shows to affirm his damaged self-esteem and identity.
For some of you, this may fall into the category of sad and inhumane punishment upon a child. We didn’t mean to forget it. It just happened. So what do you do when you’ve failed miserably at something as significant as the tooth fairy? (that was sarcasm)
Now, for all you parents on both sides of the pendulum on issues of parenting-- We are very aware of all the positions for and against Santa Claus, Christmas trees, Rudolph, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, Halloween, homeschool, private school, public school, fortune cookies, Disney, cable tv, internet, iPads, devices, gaming systems, GAP, Abercrombie, and whatever else people have drawn lines and fought semi-religious cultural battles over. And we’ve heard people’s Biblical basis (sometimes disturbingly) for all those positions as they try to blaze a trail on what’s right for their children.
We’ve been around people who despised the internet and others who love it and use it for God’s glory. We’ve been around people who had disdain for public or home-schooling and others who love it and use it for God’s glory. We’ve had people who hated pumpkins because they tied it to “the devil’s Halloween.” We’ve had others who use Halloween as “a normal day on the calendar” turned from spooky things to a day Christ redeemed for fun.
We want them to be able to decipher fairy tale from Biblical truth. As video games and movies, aided with better graphics, become more realistic, we may find a very fine line between what they see as real and what they see as imaginative. We want them to know the Bible is not imaginative or made up. Yes, it will take faith, but this invisible Jesus is more real than the skin and hair on their arms.
You’re not a better parent or worse parent if you decide to go with or abstain from Santa’s story or home-schooling or Halloween or Disney. God’s grace in killing His Son is what secured heaven for your children.
We’re not better parents because we told him the truth about Santa or the Tooth Fairy. Many, who are much better parents than us, let their kids believe that for a long time. We also tell them not to go to school telling all the kids that there’s not a Santa or Tooth Fairy. He knows that Santa and the Tooth Fairy are not real, but even this Christmas he kept hoping and asking, “Will Santa come now since we’ve got a chimney?” And with these teeth falling out each month he keeps hoping for a furry benevolent friend who stands above him while he’s sleeping and lives in a cave where he’s collected all the world’s baby teeth. (How did this become a good story?) The point is they want to believe in something good and hopeful. They want to believe in a good story with a benevolent hero. They want to believe in something ultra human. We have that it the Person of Jesus Christ.
We will fail at many things as parents. We will fail weekly and daily at pointing them to grace and living as perfect parents and family members. They will fail at living as perfect kids. Thank God that He provided the reality of adoption into His family based off of what Christ already accomplished for us, our children, our families, and those hideous people we disagree with on many points.
Don’t be a parent who makes Santa and tooth fairies the biggest deal as they grow up. One day, hopefully by the time they’re 30, they will realize there are no fairies or reindeer. What will matter at that point is that you intentionally revealed to them the truth about this loving God, His sacrificial Son’s death as a substitution for them, and their opportunity to reproduce spiritual offspring who live for Him and His glory. That is something to give thought and time to. That is something worth investing in. That is something worth leaving a legacy for.
Don’t miss the “real” important milestones.
Sankie P. Lynch
Pastor of Families