Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Bye Bye Tooth fairy..!

Abhay has been losing his baby teeth in quick succession. Teething and tooth loss are a part and parcel of growing up, but the problem is that his permanent teeth are not patient enough to let his baby teeth fall out and just like Abhay, they too can’t wait to grow! Even before he turned six, we noticed his lower permanent tooth making its debut when his lower baby tooth wasn’t even loose! What this means is that a visit to the Dentist is in the offing, every time we notice one of his baby tooth wobbling! A visit to the dentist always mandates a trip to the toy store… each time Abhay loses his tooth, he expects a gift from the Tooth fairy! The concept of a Tooth Fairy which is of a western import may be comforting for a child when he loses his first baby tooth, but to perpetuate a myth every time he loses his tooth until he grows all of his permanent teeth, seems rather ridiculous. More so, Abhay started mixing up the concept of fairies with the Indian mythology asking me whether Fairies live with the Devas in Swargaloka! So this time we decided to put an end to this Tooth Fairy business. As we got  one of Abhay loose tooth extracted last evening, he woke up this morning to find a note along with his gift, a note saying that this will be last gift from the tooth fairy and counseling him to take care of his teeth. Not sure if the contents of the note sank in as Abhay was too busy gushing over his gift!:-)

There are some people who believe that it is wrong to let children live in a fantasy world whereas some others feel that there is no harm in letting children believing in a little magic. ‘Dad, Are you the Tooth Fairy?” by Ron Spears tries to address these issues. Gary was happy to have a loose tooth as every time he lost a tooth, he was rewarded with a coin with an appreciative note from the Tooth Fairy named Gwyneth. This went on every year until he overheard from some of the older boys that tooth fairy was nothing more than childish make-believe and it was moms and dads who slip gifts under their pillow. Gary was confused and approached his dad to know the truth. Gary’s dad narrated a story about the origin of the tooth fairy. Long ago, the world was filled with magical creatures like unicorns, minotaurs, dragons and fairies. But as people turned away from magic, these magical creatures slowly faded away. The last to go were fairies which made children sad but the fairies assured them that their own parents would hear the fairies’ voices in their heads and convey their message to the children. Gary then asked if the voice his dad hears is the fairy’s or his own to which his dad said that this is a question that Gary has to answer on his own. Gary then concludes that there isn’t a right or a wrong answer to this, but it is what one believes and he likes to believe that the voice is from a fairy named Gwyneth who lives in a magical place and cares for Gary. So when his loose tooth finally fell, he received a note from Gwyneth that lauded him for accepting that there are possibilities which is the greatest gift of all! The note ended with a  P.S. Say Hello to your dad”! Well, I guess Abhay knows who the real Tooth fairy or Santa is, but he still likes to believe in these imaginary figures and loves the excitement of receiving their supposed gifts and I guess that is the magic of childhood!

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