Every time I grab a necklace from the top drawer of my dresser I sift through baggies filled with teeth. Whenever one of our children looses a tooth, we place the gem inside a Ziploc bag and place it underneath their pillow so that the Tooth Fairy doesn’t have to search far in order to locate the tooth.
I have been the Tooth Fairy for the past 10 years. Once I stuff the dollar bill under the pillow of the lucky tooth looser, I gently lift the tooth away and toss it into my drawer.
I have mounds of children’s teeth from four children—mounds. In trying to decide what to do with all of the teeth that I have accumulated I once asked my fifteen year old daughter if she wanted back all of her baby teeth. “Gross, no, why would I want my teeth?” was here assertive response.
A friend of mine once told me that when she got married and moved out of her parent’s house, her mom packed all of her baby teeth into a wooden box and gave them to her. She didn’t want them either.
There must be some kind of mother child connection between baby teeth which have fallen out and not wanting to toss them into the garbage can. If we toss out the teeth, does it mean that we are sacrificing a memory that we will never gain possession of again? Are we bad mothers if we don’t save teeth right along with the stick figure family portrait drawn with four year old hands or the scrap of hair nestled inside an envelope from their first haircut?
Each time I see the baggies of teeth I grapple with the thought of donating them to the dump, but hesitate. At first, I thought that if I tossed them, one of the little kids would see them and my Tooth Fairy disguise would be revealed. I think by ages 6 and 8 they are beyond believing in the Tooth Fairy, although Santa still gets high regard, so I may be incorrect.
I am confident that I will still be a good mother if eight years from now, when one of the children asks to see all of their missing teeth from when they were smaller and I have to inform them that they were tossed out with the coffee grounds, they won’t deny my mom badge.
The teeth are getting tossed. No one wants teeth. However, I am keeping the wisps of baby hair and the crayon drawings which will make for a great wedding gift for each of the kids some day.