I woke up too early Friday morning after getting home fairly late from Southern California. It was my youngest daughter Olivia’s first day of fifth grade, her last year of elementary school and the final opportunity for me to walk her into her classroom. I’ve walked both of my daughters to school on their first day of each of their elementary school years, K-5. That’s two kids, twelve first days, twelve walks, twelve days of Christmas…okay, that last part was a stretch.
And now it’s done. Each year they need me a little less and, in certain ways, want me a little less or at least want different things from me. It’s all integral to the passages that compose life’s journey. Change is neither good nor bad, it simply is. Every age of their lives is my favorite age, but there certainly are some that I miss a lot.
It was a big day for Olivia overall. She lost a tooth later in the day, her third one this summer, and dutifully put it under her pillow while she slept. But, for the first time, her father forgot to retrieve said tooth and leave a cache of cash. Olivia wandered out of her bedroom this morning, informed me of the Tooth Fairy’s surprising oversight, and asked if the fairy and myself were one and the same.
There’s a time for fantasies, and a time for the truth. Each time serves its purpose.
“Yes,” I replied.
I handed her a crisp $5 bill. As of right now, she’s still speaking to me.