It came from nothing. Moments like these are typically brutal in their efficacy.
She’d lost it at school and I’m guessing that ignited conversations which, following the usual path, stoked 5th grade doubts. It’s only natural and I’m not upset. I will not, however, seek confirmation of my theories here. Not now. I’m not prepared to know about or, worse, engage in similar discussions. Not yet. Not weeks before a fat man in a red suit is scheduled to wiggle his way down our chimney, likely his final pilgrimage for her. Saying goodbye to the tooth fairy is enough for today.
There is nothing at all we can do but let time pass us on the sidewalk, side step its ghost, listen to the little hand tick and tock along, the metronome of childhood and of our lives together, and brace for sudden, inevitable, natural, and beautiful-in-its-own-right change. That’s the arrangement we agreed upon when all of this began. It was a good run. We can file no complaints.
In the end, she (as all kids will) became to clever for us and she, at least in some small crevasse of her curious mind, decided it was high time to know the facts, to pull back the curtain on a myth, a puff of smoke as white as the fallen snow, she no longer wished to hold dear. It is, in most cases, their choice whether to propagate the fictional aspects of their own lives. It is, in most cases, their desire to know or not know that forces our hand. We’re no longer in possession of those keys, but walk through the doors they elect to open we might, holding their still small hands as we enter into something new, side by side. Not better, not worse, but new and with just as much potential for magic.
A version of this first appeared on Out with the Kids.