Thursday, January 17, 2008

thoughts for thursday: making memories

Savannah, Sawyer and I were playing in a fort today upstairs in Sawyer's bunk beds. At some point Savannah ran out, came back in with wings on and her favorite wand (which is actually a rainbow colored never been sharpened personalized pencil) and told us we needed to go to sleep because she was the tooth fairy. It surprised me, because although we've talked plenty about losing teeth, I don't remember any conversations about the tooth fairy. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for the tooth fairy... I just didn't know Savannah knew so much about her! So we played tooth fairy this morning. And then the kids ran around the rest of the morning with containers of "teeth" (Barbie doll shoes) rattling around in containers.

All that play reminded me that I have been meaning to plan ahead on the tooth fairy thing, so we're ready when that first tooth does start to wiggle.
Here's some fun stuff I found online today:
The tooth fairy legend has become a noted part of childhood in American culture. Originating from old European folklore, fairies were known to exchange valuable treasures for items humans viewed insignificant. However, it was not until the early 1900's that the tooth fairy, as we know it, became popular as a rite of passage between infancy to childhood. Although it is not attached to any religion or holiday, the legend has become uniquely associated with American tradition.
It is said that the purpose of the tooth fairy legend is to ease the worry or fear of children growing up. The tooth fairy myth was probably told to reassure children or to give them something to look forward to when they lose a tooth, something they've grown rather attached to. The tooth fairy comes to visit a child generally between the ages of five and seven years, when they lose their first baby tooth. A child would put his/her baby tooth under their pillow at night and the tooth fairy would make the exchange while they were sleeping. When the legend was first told, the tooth fairy would bring only modest gifts such as a penny or a dime for each tooth. As times have changed, the dime has turned to quarters, which has now turned to dollar amounts. Although some parents may opt to give a small present instead of cash, money has been the traditional exchange.

When I was a kid, I had a tooth pillow my aunt had made for me. I loved that pillow. It was heart shaped and pale purple with polka dots and a little ruffled pocket on the front and across the top she had embroidered Heather's Tooth. I don't remember all that much about losing my teeth or actually using the pillow... I just remember thinking that pillow was the prettiest thing ever. Even though I have no memory of believing in the tooth fairy, or much about putting my baby teeth in the pillow, as I got older I liked the "childhood innocence" that things that I still had from when I was younger represented.

I do remember as I got older, I tried to "save" my teeth to lose them at weekends spent with my grandparents, because at their house our teeth earned dollars instead of change. :)

I want Savannah to treasure her pillow like I loved mine. It's such a fond memory for me, and I want it to be a sweet keepsake for her. I love the idea of it being homemade. Like if one of her aunts or grandmas made it. I would love to make one myself actually. I just have to get a sewing machine running around here.
This is what I was thinking as far as trying to make my own. Or this is cute and simple.
Or this one. Oooh, and this is adorable. Maybe I can just buy one handmade.
This is my favorite. And I like that you can hang it on the bed. Not as much risk as getting caught with your hand under the pillow!

And veering away from actually putting it underneath your pillow, there's always fancy boxes, or some of these are quite beautiful and reasonably priced. I just don't know... I'm thinking I need to stick with the pillow tradition.

I actually love this idea... for a little girl at least. Something original and fun, something special for her to keep. But I don't know what I would do for a boy in this case, so it wouldn't fly in our house.

This is one of those things I think is fun to look back on, and I wonder what others remember about all of this when they were a child... how different parents do different things.
So throw out your thoughts...
1. Do you remember losing your first tooth? What happened in your house? Did you get money and if so, how much?
2. What do you/are you going to do with your own kids? Any special traditions or celebrations?


Mom said...

When my tooth came out it went in a little juice glass with water in it on the nitestand beside my bed. In the morning the tooth would be replaced with a dime.I think you should keep the tooth holder simple & inexpensive. The pillow my sister made you was perfect!

Gabe & Heidi's P.A.D. said...

Mom's right...the pillows that aunt Nancy made us were perfect! I still have mine in my box of childhood items I'll never toss. It's there with the Sunshine Bear Grandma Berke made, and the Holly Hobby I got while I was in the hospital. I feel a connection to that pillow, just like you.

Debbie said...

Heather, just let me know exactly what you want the pillow to be like and I would love to make it for Savannah. Have Savannah look at some and see what she thinks as well. Then, draw something out for me and give me colors, fabric choices, etc and I will absolutely make it! I actually do have one that I made a long time ago for craft shows that I could take a picture of and e-mail to you, also and add that to your choices.
Love, Gramma Debbie

Amy said...

i just remember being so excited when i lost a tooth. john has lost several teeth and he puts them right under his pillow in an envelope. maybe i should have come up with something more creative. i had a pretty pillow, but i am not sure boys aren't into that. we have a lot of traditions here, as i am rather sentimental.

K.M. Laughlin said...

My sister and I both had little cute pink heart pillows and when we lost a tooth we got money. I remember as I got older and lost more teeth, the money would also increase. For my brother, instead of a heart pillow, he had a flat sports pillow with a pocket so it wasn't so girly! I can't wait for that day when we can start that tradition with our own kids. :)

jenny cook said...

i haven't thought about this yet, but here is what my husband and i remember about the 'tooth fairy'.

matt said that when he was younger, he would put his tooth in a ziploc bag, and in the morning, there would be quarters under his pillow. i asked him if he ever 'believed' in the tooth fairy, and he said, he didn't care - he just knew someone was putting money under his pillow. he even would rip out lose teeth that still had the root to get his quarters (in his words).

myself - i think there was a time i believed. the most memorable tooth i lost was at the dairy queen. i ripped it out in a dq napkin and brought it home to put under my pillow. i would get quarters until i 'stopped' believing. i can't remember when that was!

i think that doing something fun like a special pillow or box is a great idea. i am sure i will do something special for my kids. oh, and i am pretty sure my mom still has the first tooth i lost! :)

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