Friday, May 9, 2008

A bit of pixie dust and a few dollar bills

Big Big week at our house.

The Tooth Fairy came for a visit. For the first time.

Picture ChellBell losing a loose-for-way-too-long tooth in the back seat of my car while eating a cheese-and-crackers-and-preservatives snack. HUGE shock. HUGE surprise. HUGE smile. LOUD squeal.

Quite the moment.

And then I had to scramble. 6:30, and the sun would be down soon, and it would be Tooth Fairy time. Seriously, what's the going Tooth Fairy rate these days? Panic. No cash. Hmmmm. Maybe the Tooth Fairy can give coins? Or gum? Or frosted mini-wheats in a ziplock?

Fortunately, all worked out. The Tooth Fairy was a success. She left a note about the importance of teeth and also stated that the little dog nipped her during her visit. There were 3 one-dollar bills strewn across ChellBell's bedroom floor the next morning. Either dropped in the Tooth Fairy's efforts to escape the little dog's nipping teeth, or strewn by the little dog himself. We will never know.

Funny how losing a tooth is such an exciting thing. I was trying to think of some other loss that makes us so excited. Loss in the stock market? Um, no. My Mom losing her hair because of chemo? Nope, not that one. Losing an earring? No, did that earlier this week, not fun. Losing a job? Even with severance, it's not welcomed.

Maybe it's because losing a tooth is a sign of growing up. Maybe it's because we know another one will grow in its place. Maybe it's because a fairy comes and gives us money that we can spend on gum and other things that are oh-so great for teeth. (really, shouldn't the tooth fairy leave calcium tablets or floss?)

In my world, I have this proverbial loose tooth. It's my friend Becca. I'm getting ready to lose her. Not in a fatal or forever kind of way. But in a moving-out-of-town kind of way. You'd have to understand that we started out living next door to each other. ChellBell and her daughter, Morganne, are the same age and the best o' friends. And after making a hard decision, we decided to move into our current house, which is -- seriously -- only 10 houses from where we were because the thought of having to get in the car to see our closer-than-a-brother friends just put knots in my stomach. It's rare to have friends like Bec and Matt and their kids. It's even rarer that they would live right next door. And still pretty rare even 10 doors down.

So their announcement in December that a promotion for Bec was surfacing -- hooray! -- and that it would take them to Austin -- choke, what did you just say?? -- it was like the tooth started getting loose.

Five months have flown by. The "surfacing promotion" has now become a new job in full swing that has Bec traveling to Austin during the week. The house here has been sold. The new house has been picked out and purchased. The movers have been scheduled. The bon voyage party invitations are going out in the mail.

Like the string has been tied and the door is about to slam shut. And that tooth will be gone.

I'm pretty sure that no fairy will come visit me. And like the tooth, I'm sure there will be other friends who eventually come in and fill in the void. But there will be a gap there for a long time. One that feels weird and looks a little strange. It will be awkward. What do you do when something is gone that has been there for so long? That you've come to depend on? Something that is such a part of you that it helps make up who you are and how you function?

I'm not sure. It's been a long time since I've lost a tooth. And a very long time since I've said goodbye to a friend.

It's a mixed bag of crazy-excited and super-sad all at the same time. As if I wasn't a pre-menopausal mess of emotions already (in a home with a pre-pubescent mess of emotions who realizes that her best friend is moving away too)... Thank goodness for weekends and holidays and cheap southwest flights and I-35 and all the things that keep Dallas and Austin feeling like neighbors. Not 10 houses down neighbors, but still just a phone call away.

I guess we're growing up.

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