Last night was a very busy night for the Tooth Fairy. Yesterday one of my son’s friends lost both his front teeth on the father/son Indian Guides campout, then the little girl down the street lost her front tooth, and finally yesterday afternoon my son lost his front tooth that had been dangling by a thread for almost two weeks now. As I tucked him into bed and he checked on his prized tooth for the 100th time, he looked at me with those big, brown eyes of his and asked me in all seriousness if the Tooth Fairy was real or if I snuck in his room at night, took the tooth and left the money. My heart plummeted to my stomach. My son is only seven years old. He can’t be disillusioned of all of childhood’s special wonders so soon, could he? I asked him why he asked, thinking the older kids may have spilled the beans on the back of the school bus. Not so. He wondered because he had seen two of my molars that I’d had pulled back when I was a teenager with braces stuffed in an old jewelry box of mine. I told him of course the Tooth Fairy is real. I just never cashed in those teeth and instead decided to keep them, since they would likely be the last teeth I ever lost. I told him he could keep his if he wanted to. With the greedy gleam only a seven-year-old can have, he tucked his tooth under the pillow and said he’d much rather have the money. And so, my son drifted off to sweet dreams, still believing in the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny, and Santa Claus . . . at least for one more year.
So when did we stop believing in those special childhood visitors who snuck into our homes in the wee hours of the night? For us paranormal writers, I think there’s a part of us that still does believe. I know I do. Only now our night visitors might be a little more grown up and a tad scarier (or perhaps sexier, depending on the tale we’re telling *G*). But I believe they’re still out there, somewhere, waiting to pay us a visit some dark and magical night.