Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Catching the Tooth Fairy in the Act

 There are a lot of things I missed while stuck in Saudi...

 Little things, it's always the little things... playing hooky to fly a kite in the grass, smell of buttered popcorn at the late show, re-arranging fridge magnets to say this is home.

 I missed clean fresh sheets and cotton t-shirts right out of the dryer, pizza by the slice you can fold up and eat in a doorway, books on the shelves I know by heart.

 Elevators to the top of skyscrapers to look out over cities and youngest daughters who draw rainbows and pretty flowers.
 And reading to them at night. 

 Jan Brett and Richard Scary, Eric Carle and Shel Silverstein and all the host of fairy tales they love.  You know, sometimes I play tricks and change the endings just for fun.  How Little Red Riding Hood ends up in the Big Bad Wolf's belly and the Tortoise loses properly to the Hare because he lost his chapstick in his shell.  My girls just howl with laughter. "Noooo... that's not the end of the story.  Do it the right way.  Do it again!"
 But one thing I don't miss is being on display for others.  When Rebekah was upset about her tooth being wobbly, sitting on my lap and crying, some Taiwanese woman, a real Butch number with spiky hair, combat boots, and work jeans, pulled out a camera and stood behind us recording.  She caught the whole thing on film.  That sort of thing... I never get used to.  That's one thing about the Arabs, nobody ever took this kaffir's picture.
That night, while camping out on the living room floor watching... of course, Merrie Melodies!  I sunk my hands deep behind the pillow and found the tooth and replaced it with a shiny silver dollar, but when I stood up, Xian was staring at me in the dark.  "I knew you were real," she whispered, and rolled over onto her side.  She's right.  I am.

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