anxiety in kids, believe, mom, tooth fairy

Don’t Stop Believing…

Journey sings “Don’t stop… believing..” ah, something to ponder. Don’t Stop Believing – I want to say that to my children. Perhaps that will keep them young and sweet. My 10 1/2 year old and 8 year old still believe – in Santa, the Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny….They both react differently.  Olivia (8) loves everything about it – writes notes, leaves all kinds of treats, and dreams about the wonderful icon that marks a certain holiday or event. Last night the Tooth Fairy came (she had 2 teeth pulled) – first thing out of bed she runs downstairs, unlocks the door to the garage and gets her Tooth Fairy Pillow from the garage – in such aw…so excited…carefully reading the note from good old TF and seeing what treasure/dollar amount she left for her. Oh, wait…”out in the garage???”  I know that is what you are thinking. Most people just hang their Tooth Fairy pillow on their bedroom door knob – or perhaps put the tooth under their pillow. But it is Maddie (10)(with anxiety disorder) that we need to make some changes and tweek the way we do things. She believes, but has a list of demands. She gets so upset with the notion of someone sneaking into our home in the middle of the night. “What if I have to get up and go the bathroom in the middle of the night and I see them?” . For the longest time we would dismiss her feelings and tell her that is silly…they can tell when you are awake…only come when you are sound asleep. Then one year (I think she was 5 or 6) she was so upset, scared and borderline hysterical Christmas Eve at the thought of someone coming in. Then I realized it is more than just something silly. My husband said “Lets just tell her” and I said “No, she believes – why take the magical part away from her” – so we adapt the way we do things….Tooth Fairy pillow gets hung on the garage door knob IN the garage, Christmas stockings are hung out in Mike’s shop (heated!) along with cookies and milk for the big guy, and the Easter Bunny leaves Mike and I clues for a scavenger hunt that leads the kids outside for Easter Baskets. Sure, it all seems silly…but the way their faces light up when they wake up and find the end result – AWESOME!  My husband and I always laugh – the girls are SO different – Maddie will believe until she is 16 and then be SO MAD we lied to her all these years and Olivia we will tell and she will be “Daaa. I knew that all along”…But for now – I love that they still believe. One of those few innocent things of childhood. And if we need to slip on shoes and run thru the ice cold garage Christmas morning to see what Santa brought, then we will.