Anyone who is a parent knows how hard it can be to watch that little person you brought into the world grow up and make their own way.
Musician, Today Extra host and proud father of three, David Campbell is facing that fear right now.
When his six-year-old son, Leo, lost his two front teeth recently, Campbell was confronted with the fact his ‘little boy’ might not be so little anymore and he penned a heartfelt letter… to the Tooth Fairy!
The letter, published in Stellar magazine, reveals just how reluctant the 43-year-old is to “say goodbye to my baby”.
He then took a swipe at the Tooth Fairy for taking away his child’s innocence in return for a gold coin underneath his pillow.
“I am the embarrassing weepy dad, typing a letter to a fictional character because I am dreading the loss of innocence, the dawn of change to come and the realisation that he will have no front teeth at Christmas time,” Campbell writes.
It might only get worse for Campbell, who has two other children Betty (Elizabeth) and Billy (William), 22 months, who will inevitably go through the same circumstances, but at least he has some time to get used to the idea.
David Campbell’s letter to the Tooth Fairy in full
Dear Tooth Fairy,
We have known each other for a while now and I am down with the reverse-interest business deal you offer. I lose my teeth as a child and you give me money (50 cents back in my day). Then, when I get older and have my own children, they start to lose their wee chompers and you fly in and “gift” them a gold coin (inflation) in exchange for a tooth. In theory, this is the worst business deal I have ever been a part of. Shouldn’t I put in 50 cents then get back a gold coin? Or even a note?
So already we have established that your business model is flawed. But that is not the dental bone I have to pick with you.
Leo, my oldest, has lost a few teeth already. The piggy bank by his bed is fuller due to your visits over the past few years. All the cute little teeth across the bottom of his mouth fell out one by one. His initial level of anxiety at what was happening, to the unbridled excitement by the second or third wobbly white wonder — it has been an adventure to live this again through his eyes.
Then it happened. Two teeth. Leo’s top two teeth started to get loose. To be played with in wonder in the mirror. To be tongued in the back seat of the car as he tried to make the inevitable happen quicker.
This morning was T-Day. The first upper tooth fell out. A victim to a kick in the mouth from a younger brother. And I am not happy. I’ll tell you why, Tooth Fairy: this is different. His face is changing. Time is moving on. I’ve been there; you remember what happens next. The gaps up top. The awkward lisping. The photos where you start to get self-conscious, and then tombstones that are way too big for your mouth pave the way for more changes.
I took a photograph of Leo just yesterday and it seemed he got taller in anticipation of your arrival. Longer limbs, a cooler look in the eyes — or is that the beginning of an attitude I don’t yet recognise? My eyes sting when I open the photo app on my phone and I see this shot. I want to grab him and tell him: “Don’t grow up!”
I need to admit that he has been my little boy for so long, that I am not ready. All parents say this. I am sure you have heard it all before, but do you really listen?
So here I am, the embarrassing weepy dad, typing a letter to a fictional character because I am dreading the loss of innocence, the dawn of change to come and the realisation that he will have no front teeth at Christmas. Like that bloody song!
Lucky I have two spare kids who are a little way off.