At 1:11 a.m., Shaya skipped into our darkened room, more energetic than he is most days.
“My tooth fell out!” he exclaimed.
How he noticed it while sleeping, I have no idea, but he was insistent at that late night hour that we must find the tooth fairy pillow with the little pocket big enough to hold a tiny tooth, and set it out for her to come in the remainder of the night.
Of course, we couldn’t find it and so we improvised, taking his hand-sewn square pillow tossed at the foot of the bed among the soft throws and many stuffed animals and set it aside on the floor. The tooth, wrapped in tissue, perched atop the pillow.
By morning, the tooth had been replaced with two crumpled dollar bills, and when Shaya awoke, groggy, rubbing his eyes, for the second school day of the third week of school, his first question was, “Did the tooth fairy come?”
Of course she did.
I remarked about how incredible it was that she found a way to come in the middle of the night. “She’s good,” I said.
Whether he believes in the tooth fairy still, or plays along for my benefit, and his, I appreciate this innocence. It is sweet and honest and the kind of pure that I wish we could carry throughout our lives.
Yesterday at soccer practice, some of the boys were wiggly and unruly, irreverent at the mention of direction from me or the other coach. How does that happen? How do 10-year-olds become immune to the respect for authority I thought would be automatic?
We gave them permanent positions based on their exhibited strengths and skills on the field in our first two games. Some were happy. Some were dismayed. Some wanted to be a star forward when heretofore, they’ve only dragged along the field, more interested in a passing butterfly than the assertiveness needed to take the ball and run with it.
Last week, there were a few nights when the moon was big and round, bright and huge in the sky. It’s lovely how the day begins in quiet and ends the same way, and yet there is no way to capture it and preserve the poetry of the gloaming, that time between full day and deepest night.
If you try to take a picture of it on your phone, it always pales in comparison to the real thing, which is probably as it should be. I remember once in New York City a huge super moon in my purview and on my phone photo, it was a mere white dot in a warm night sky.
You have to be in the world, in the moment, to see its true beauty. I’m sure that’s true for just about everything. We can’t race through our days and expect to appreciate the moments.