I remember being pregnant with my son. I never felt more beautiful: my skin glowed, my hair flowed, I moved slower and with determination much like the crescendo of a great piece of music. Okay, so maybe I'm romanticizing...truth be told my skin was so greasy you could have rubbed my head on a bicycle chain and competed in the Tour De France; the flowing hair was actually like having a headful of sea anemones and the reason I moved slower was not due to grace or a great desire to savor life, it was the 60 pounds of water weight that I was dragging around by week 24.
But even though my pregnancy was less than ideal, there were though magical moments. The first time you go to Wal-Mart and confidently, if not arrogantly, cruise past the feminine product aisle. The decadent sleepiness and peaceful rest that came with not having to make an excuse for taking a nap in the middle of the morning. Being able to lay around like third base and not feeling guilty about it. Those fuzzy, glazed over moments when you are half asleep and you feel that butterfly flit across your tummy for the first time and in that moment you grasp, for just one fraction of a second, the infinite importance of life and its always impending fragility. The dreams you have for that life inside of your body, the hope for a good life, the fear that you will not be able to provide it. A beautiful menagerie, a collage of all of the most beautiful and serene and mystical molecules in the universe - that is your world when you are about to be a mother.
Then they come out, start talking and stop being so mystical and some of the magic of being a mother is replaced by some of the reality. Those daydreams of your little punim holding the knowledge that may one day produce the technology to cure cancer tend to fade when you look in the rearview mirror just in time to see him eating his own boogers. The hopes of artistic genius are pushed to the bottom of the list and replaced the reality that your child is examining the contents of the puppy's vomit in an attempt to recover a missing Lego. Those dreams of distinguished receptions and White House dinners are quickly swept away by the superhero cape made out of an old curtain, a pair of knock-off Christian Dior sunglasses as goggles and a slightly chubby six year old running around in his little Superman boxer briefs jumping off stuff to make sure he hasn't been granted the ability to fly but just doesn't know about it yet.
This was blaringly demonstrated to me last week by the actions of my little man. He lost a tooth and as was tradition we took a picture, put the tooth in the special pouch and put it under Kyser's pillow. As I turned his bed down he disappeared for a moment and came slinking back into his bedroom careful not to reveal the tools he carried.
"Kyser, what do you have?"
He glanced to the right, a telltale sign that he was developing a story. "Well, uh. Hmmmmmm" He paused and shifted from one foot to the next. "Well, I just thought. Well, see..."
I ducked and shifted to the left, he went right and we met at the foot of the bed where I discovered my little darling was holding a rubber mallet hammer I had been using to take apart the Christmas tree and a Wal-Mart bag. "I wasn't going to hurt her..." Was how my little sweetie began to explain his heinous and diabolic, if not mafia-esque plan to slowly drain the funds of the Tooth Fairy. "I was just gonna wait until she showed up tonight for my tooth then I was gonna whack her on the head and put this bag over her head until you wake up tomorrow and we could get me a jar and poke the holes in the lid. I won't keep her forever, just for awhile."
My son, my sweet little red head cherub. My Opie-Taylor doppleganger, cute little lisp, smattering of freckles across his nose walking talking miracle had hatched a plot to put the screws to the Tooth Fairy. I saw this as a three-pronged pitchfork of dispair: on one hand, I was worried because he had used the word "whack" in one of the many correct contexts and he was only six; on the other hand, I thought perhaps it might behoove me to be a bit more worried about the fact that he had formulated an actual plan of action; and if I could borrow your third hand, I would have to say that my other concern was the fact that my little seraphim had actually coordinated a mob hit involving extortion. To even begin to tell him how this was wrong was almost as complex as addressing the many evils he was layering like a sinister submarine sandwich. So I said that was not the best idea and that if he wanted to have a chance with the Tooth Fairy he better had over the tools of doom and scoot to bed and he did and was out like a little light.
That night, the Tooth Fairy left a note neatly tucked in Kyser's shoe in the living room, explaining that she had heard of the twisted plot and was afraid to go to Kyser's room. She would return to leave his reward in a couple of nights, when she was sure it was safe.
And in all honesty, the "Tooth Fairy" had taken inventory and couldn't account for several blunt objects in the household that could be used as weapons.
The next morning, Kyser was disappointed, and we tried to explain that she was afraid for herself due to his violoent plot but Kyser just shook it off. "She ain't scared, Mom. She goes into people's houses all the time and takes their teeth and you think she ought to be scared of me? I'm a kid with a rubber hammer. What do want?"