Is My Kid Milking the System?


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My oldest is 10.

When he’s not at home, he’s surrounded by kids much older and kids slightly more mature. He’s the youngest in his class and spends his free time with his older cousins and uncles.

Last year, I found myself doubting his belief in Santa, but ended up letting it go. I held onto that glimmer of hope that he, in fact, did believe. I carried on with the stories and traditions while making the most out of what I thought was his final year of writing wish list letter and setting out cookies and milk for the jolly old man.
There was talk about believing in the magic. There were questions about how he managed to do it all in one night. And then there were a few winks and nods when we talked about it around the younger boys.

And yet, I clung to hope and treasured his sweet innocence for a little while longer.

We have yet to talk much about this Christmas this year because we’ve been so consumed with Halloween and birthday parties for the past few months. But he is losing teeth left and right.

He lost another tooth three days ago. The Tooth Fairy forgot to come – and that wasn’t the first time she accidentally skipped this house. I made up some silly excuse about how she must be really busy this time of year and then wrote myself a note and quietly placed it at my bedside.

I made my way into his bedroom a few hours after he fell asleep. As I held my breath with the hopes he wouldn’t wake up, I silently cursed when I realized just how far under his pillow he placed the tooth. After what seemed like minutes, the tooth was found and successfully replaced with a baggie full of two, one-dollar bills.

As I went to bed, I couldn’t help but wonder if he’s milking the system.

He woke up the next day beaming with excitement as he told me that the Tooth Fairy left him two whole dollars.

“For that little tooth? Wow!”, I said as I turned around with a smile.