Thoughts on the Tooth Fairy
Updated: Feb 4, 2022
I hate the Tooth Fairy.
As in H A T E.
I hate how I have to finagle a miniscule incisor out from underneath a ginormous pillow when I’m already tired and ready to go to bed. I hate how I sweat every time I tip toe like a cat into my slumbering child’s room just to retrieve something I don’t care to find.
Why do it then?
Well, I’m an Enneagram Type 7, which means that if there’s fun to be had, I’m there for it (no matter the cost!)
This might seem masochistic, but I’m also an optimist. So when my youngest daughter lost her first tooth recently, I swore things would be different. I placed that little enamel pearl in a ziploc baggie for quick retrieval and prayed all would go well…and it did! Easiest bate-and-switch ever.
Only when she came into my room the next morning, she proclaimed that the Tooth Fairy left her $7 instead of the crisp five dollar bill I had left. Confusion set in.
Is inflation really a thing in the Tooth Fairy world? ... And is the Tooth Fairy ACTUALLY real?!?
My middle daughter interrupted my existential grumblings by slinking into my room like a shame-filled puppy.
Apparently she had wanted to be the Tooth Fairy too, so she’d woken up early to see if there was any money under her baby sister’s pillow. When she couldn’t find any, she panicked and grabbed two dollars from her own savings. Sweet, right?
Well, after she woke her sister up she remembered our agreement to give her five dollars instead of the two dollars I normally give (which is a whole other story). So she panicked ... AGAIN! ... and told her sister to go back to sleep "so the Tooth Fairy could come back." She then grabbed a five dollar bill from her stash and added it to the pile before waking her sister up again.
For the love. No child is that stupid! My 6-year old knew exactly what was going on.
You might be thinking Awwwwww, that’s so cute! But stop it. It’s not cute. My middle daughter meddled in my business when I CLEARLY had gotten the job done! I got the tooth, I left the money, and I got the heck outta there unnoticed!
What this story really highlights is that my 9-year old doesn't trust me to do my job. Because in her harried attempts to find the money, she buried it by knocking it onto the floor. 🤦♀️
That’s when I realized…Don’t we do this with God sometimes? Don’t we meddle in his business because we don’t see the results we’re looking for, or we aren’t patient enough to wait for them? Our anxiety kicks in so we doubt and start to draw irrational conclusions like, God doesn’t love me, or He’s punishing me, or God must not exist. When in reality, he’s already left us treasure to uncover!
This makes me think of the father in Mark 9.
He had a son who was possessed by something evil, something unfathomable. He’d find his son writhing on the floor foaming at the mouth, for years the Bible says (Mark 9:21). I’m sure this father prayed, as any good parent would, but he didn’t see healing right away...until he met Jesus.
When the father saw him, he ran up to him and said, “Have mercy on us and help us, if you can.”
“What do you mean, ‘If I can’? … Anything is possible if a person believes.”
The father instantly cried out, "I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!" (Mark 9:22-24 NLT)
Help me overcome my unbelief.
It’s an honest statement, right? It's raw, real, and Jesus honors it. Not with a theological argument or prophetic citation. But by healing his son, right there in the middle of a large crowd.
My pastor recently talked about doubt – how our confirmation bias or "inattentional blindness" can cause us to miss the miracles in our lives (or God’s existence completely). You can watch the full sermon HERE, but his basic premise is that we should press in with our doubts and bring them to God instead of avoiding them all together.
So I encourage you to do that today. If you can’t find that “five dollar bill” God's left you, don’t sweat it. He's got your back and knows exactly what you need when you need it. Chances are he's already doing cat ninja moves in your life, too, just as you do in your own kids' lives! If you're skeptical, simply ask him to help you overcome your unbelief. (Because take my 9-year old's word for it...meddling never goes well. 🙄)
God, help me overcome my unbelief. Help me to trust you in the things I don’t see, like the healing that's coming even though I'm still in pain. Thank you for showing me where you are in this moment and how you love me. Forgive me for my impatience. Today I will choose to trust you as I wait. AMEN.