The other day at school, a third grade girl showed me where she had a lost a tooth the previous day. 

“Did the tooth fairy visit?” I asked.

“Yes,” she replied, “and I got TEN DOLLARS!”

Ah, how times have changed.  I realize my childhood was many years ago – close to fifty years since my early elementary school years when I lost teeth and had the tooth fairy visit.  My childhood tooth fairy was creative.  My brothers and sisters and I usually got a quarter, but we never found a single quarter lying predictably under our pillows.  Instead, we’d get maybe two dimes and a nickel, or five nickels, and each coin would be hidden in a different place in and around the bed – maybe one inside the pillow case, another between the mattress and box spring or one between the sheets at the bottom of the bed.  Losing a tooth meant an exciting search for treasure the next morning.

With my own children, I followed the same idea.  Of course they received more money than I did as a child.  I also threw in the bonus of a scavenger hunt to get their loot.  I sometimes got very elaborate with their hunts.  I’d write rhymed clues, and they’d have to search all over the house to get their tooth fairy money. It’s a nice memory, and I’m glad I took the time to make those occasions special.  I hope my two children – now adults – also remember them with a smile.

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