My two teens outgrew the Tooth Fairy long ago. Which is good because I wasn’t exactly aces in the role.
More than once I made up an excuse why the Tooth Fairy didn’t visit our house.
“She got stuck in traffic,” I used.
“She got dew on her wings and couldn’t fly last night. She’ll come tonight,” I said another time.
But when my adorable 8-year-old neighbor told me about losing a tooth, her excitement about a visit from the Tooth Fairy was infectious.
“I got five dollars!” she cried, her face lighting up with a toothless grin.
Which got me thinking.
My teeth might not be falling out, but lots of things on my body are falling apart now that I’ve hit midlife. How awesome would it be if there were fairies that would visit ME in the night bearing gifts?
Indeed, this middle-aged mom of teens needs a gaggle of Midlife Fairies. I think they would look a little something like this:
The Presbyopia Fairy would visit the night after I could no longer read the book I was holding at arm’s length from my face. This fairy would sprinkle reading glasses throughout the house, allowing me to read the instructions on a medicine bottle, see the care instructions on my new sweater, or check text messages from my teens without increasing the font on my phone.
A Silver Fox Fairy would help keep my gray locks vibrant and shiny. This fairy would deliver a lovely color depositing shampoo and appear every time I pick up tweezers, cautioning me against plucking those gray strands. This Fairy would also murmur into my teens’ ears to lay off on the Golden Girls jokes and persuade them that my gray hair looks gorgeous.
An Orthopedic Fairy would guide me to the right orthopedic doctor at the right time. This fairy would ensure the doctor takes my insurance, has amazing bedside manner, and will outfit me with a terrific new knee or hip when needed. The Orthopedic Fairy would also magically book my knee or hip replacement during a period that works with my teens’ schedules of extracurricular pursuits.
What about an “Old Days” Fairy? This fairy would comfort me the next time I drop a pop culture phrase from the last millennium that my teens don’t understand (aka “Time to make the donuts”). The “Old Days” Fairy would land on my shoulder and whisper, “It’s okay, I love you, I’ll help you if you fall and can’t get up!”
A Financial Advisor Fairy could deliver a fully funded college savings account and retirement plan. If that’s too much to ask, then perhaps this Fairy could patiently (and repeatedly) explain the differences between a 529, 401(k), 403(b), traditional or Roth IRA, annuity, and pension.
The Worry-Wart Fairy would whisk all my worries away, including those about my teens driving at night, applying to college or jobs, and navigating social media. The Worry-Wart Fairy would also absorb my anxieties about that hair that sprouted on my chin and how to stay on budget while buying copious amounts of food for my ravenous teens.
A Pain Relief Fairy would deliver a multitude of medicines in one of those pill boxes with dividers like my grandma used. This fairy could also bring assorted braces or tubes of arthritis relief for those aches and pains in my knees and hips I feel every day, but especially getting in and out of the bleachers for my teens’ games.
A Menopause Fairy would be multi-talented, blowing cool air on me when a hot flash strikes, visiting at night for a chat during a bout of insomnia, and helping me find decent looking elastic-waist pants that accommodate my softening belly and are trendy enough to wear with my teens in public.
The Empty Nest Fairy would comfort me when I’m missing my older teen away at college. When I feel like crying, this Fairy would lighten my mood by reminding me that after 18 years I can add onions back into every dinner recipe since my picky eater is out of the house.
Finally, the Bird Watching Fairy would bring an assortment of binoculars and bird feeders for those ragers I enjoy sitting outside watching the birds. This fairy helps me appreciate this stage of my life now that my teens drive themselves everywhere and I have some time to sit and watch the – ooh, look, a goldfinch!