Wait…Do I Believe in Magic?

magic

This story begins, like my life, when I was a baby. I grew up in a multi-denominational household, with a Jewish-raised dad and a generally Christian-raised mom. They dealt with holidays for my sister and I in a way that makes complete sense to me, but occasionally stymies others. Basically, we celebrated everything, but with a sense of “this is how the people of this faith celebrate this day, but you can take it or leave it.” I still knew all of the background information, but I never really believed that Elijah was drinking that wine, or that Santa was eating those cookies. (By the way, why do so many holidays incorporate somebody sneaking into the house or yard at night? Supah creepy). I must have believed in Santa for a little while, because I do distinctly remember one year where I noticed that Santa and my mom had remarkably similar handwriting. When I asked about it, my mom said that she was Santa’s helper. I don’t remember a big, heartbreaking fall from innocence, but rather a casual nonchalance about Santa actually being my parents. NBD, as long as they made with the presents each year!

But there was one mystical being with which I couldn’t reconcile, and that was the Tooth Fairy. Since there was no holiday associated with her, she didn’t carry the same doubtful backstory in my mind as Santa or the Easter Bunny did. Also, she was magic. It was easy to get my little brain around my parents buying and wrapping presents and putting them under the tree when I was sleeping. Or hiding Easter Eggs when I wasn’t looking. Or drinking wine or eating cookies when I was going to bed. (Something tells me that last one happened more than necessary to keep up the charade, but the point remains.) I could see how my parents were pulling off all of those schemes. But my goodness if they didn’t stump me with my teeth!

At first I just put them under my pillow like a good doobie. I could accept that I slept heavily enough that they could conceivably reach under the pillow and make the exchange like the secret ninjas they were. But a few teeth in, I started to get a little sassy. The tooth would go in a sealed envelope under my pillow. The next morning, the sealed envelope would contain a dollar. Ok, all envelopes are white, they could have exchanged them. “Let’s up the ante,” I thought, being a real jerk. A sealed envelope with my very sophisticated elementary school signature across the seal should do it. And what do you know, the next day, the very same envelope, sealed, was under my pillow with a dollar in it. At this point, I gave up trying to make it more difficult, and instead began asking them every time: how were they doing it? Infuriatingly predictable, my mom would always respond, “I’m not doing anything! It’s the Tooth Fairy.”

I kid you not, I kept asking and kept asking for so long that I finally started to doubt myself. From child to teenager, I could not figure out how they un-and-resealed the envelope so perfectly! This was slightly before Google, and I didn’t care enough to put in more effort than just asking, so I was left to wonder. I knew the Tooth Fairy wasn’t real, of course, but I just could not deduce what was happening behind the scenes.

The first time I came home from college for Christmas, my family and I were reminiscing about holidays past and I remembered about my mom’s Santa handwriting, which reminded me to ask again about the Tooth Fairy. My mom was able to again look at her NINETEEN year old daughter and with a straight face say “It was the Tooth Fairy” (WHAT OTHER LIES ARE YOU TELLING ME, MOTHER?!). I clarified that I was 100% sure that the Tooth Fairy was not real (95% sure in reality but I had to bluff a little). Then I really hammered it home by guilting her with the old “but I have to use it on my children!” line, and she finally revealed her secret. Apparently, with a pot of boiling water, some finesse, and the love of a parent, it is possible to coax a sealed envelope open and reseal it without any evidence of the intrusion.

Now, I immediately attempted to recreate this and failed miserably. Apparently you really do need the love part (or maybe the finesse) to get it done right. But I’m going to nail it, because I really do want to be able to do this for my kids. Even if I felt dumb not being able to figure it out despite the AP classes and the SAT scores and the GPA, it was also fun, because it was a small piece of magic that I was able to carry with me much longer than I should have been able to. I want my kids to be able to experience that. Also, if my kids are anything like me, they’re going to be little jerks too, and I’m going to need this technique to take them down a notch.

Amelita Lijek About Amelita Lijek

Born and raised in a Boston suburb, Amelita is heart-breakingly Boston-accent deficient. This deficiency, among many others, has driven her survival instinct to find the humor in all things, even if they are not cat-related. An avid writer, tweeter, and sleep-enthusiast, Amelita can be found regularly cavorting around New York City improving (IM-prah-ving), sketch writing, and seeking out free samples and Wifi (WHY-fy). She also has carefully cultivated Twitter (@aaaamelita) and SoundCloud (soundcloud.com/aaaamelita) accounts, both of which will most likely be cited either as a) her first ventures into a wildly successful comedy career or b) her first ventures into a wild descent into madness or c) a little bit of both.

Amelita Lijek About Amelita Lijek

Born and raised in a Boston suburb, Amelita is heart-breakingly Boston-accent deficient. This deficiency, among many others, has driven her survival instinct to find the humor in all things, even if they are not cat-related. An avid writer, tweeter, and sleep-enthusiast, Amelita can be found regularly cavorting around New York City improving (IM-prah-ving), sketch writing, and seeking out free samples and Wifi (WHY-fy). She also has carefully cultivated Twitter (@aaaamelita) and SoundCloud (soundcloud.com/aaaamelita) accounts, both of which will most likely be cited either as a) her first ventures into a wildly successful comedy career or b) her first ventures into a wild descent into madness or c) a little bit of both.

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