The Writer, The Perpetual Child

Recently, my son lost his second tooth. He proudly brought it down to the breakfast table.

It was his turn for show and tell at school, and he brought it in. I saw all the other kindergarten kids clapping him on the back in the school yard, a few of the boys shook his hand.

When I picked him up, the school nurse had given him a tiny plastic tooth that stores his tooth, and also serves as a necklace. That night, he put the necklace in a jar next to his bed. When I asked him about it, he said that his tooth was too special, and he didn’t want the tooth fairy to take it. I asked him if he didn’t want to trade it for money – the tooth fairy always leaves money. No.

In the morning, lo and behold, there was 2$ on his night table. I explained that the tooth fairy knew it was special and didn’t take it, but left him some money for loosing his tooth anyway. His response: I didn’t know the tooth fairy was that nice.

All of this got me thinking about how open a child’s eyes are. They do not see things with the pre-conception that we, as adults, do.(Of course, I was also wondering about the ramifications of my children actually believing in the tooth fairy – how did that happen??)

I also realized, that in order to write to my fullest potential, I would have to be open in the same way. Sometimes, as I am writing, the story shifts, it goes to a new place I never entertained. I will fight against it, trying to keep things consistent with my initial structure or idea. Yet, when I let go, and allow myself to be taken, it is then that the story truly comes to life.

Here’s to the tooth fairy!

tooth fairy

tooth fairy b

winking tooth

8 thoughts on “The Writer, The Perpetual Child

  1. This sounds interesting. Here’s a writing tip designed to help people see buildings through the eyes of a small child. Sit on the steps of the building and imagine the door and front walls through the eyes of a child.

  2. Love this post. Reminds me of Matisse writing that the artist must look at everything “as though he were seeing it for the first time: he has to look at life as he did when he was a child.”

    (Sorry I really have Matisse on the brain.)

  3. You’re right, children have a way of seeing things so clearly sometimes it is really amazing. Some how by the time we become adults it seems our mind has become so saturated with all the life around us that we lose that magic. I guess as Cynthia was saying as writers we should strive to feel that magic again.

    On a different note, I would like a ring like the one you described in your comment on my blog. It sounds great! Was it a small piece of amber fitted onto a metallic ring or was the amber actually carved into a ring shape? I’m not sure if the latter is possible but that would be pretty awesome if it is. I’ve only seen pretty large chunks of it myself in museums.

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