If there was ever time in their married life when children were not about, she did not remember. Her children had married when the time was right and had waited for their families, using reason and birth control. She, on the other hand, never reasoned things out or even gave the idea of not marrying and having children right away a thought.
So the circle had continued soon after they began their life together. There were wars and unrest in the country, young men were sent away and women remained home with elderly mothers and aging fathers. Children gave them hope. So she had children. Three to be exact.
It was this that carried her through each day from the beginning. And this very cold winter day, sun shinning and children on the front lawn, started much like any other. The oldest, dressed in his football uniform,was organizing the boys on the front lawn. The middle child, a girl, was dressed in a hippie outfit on with bell bottoms and a crochet vest. She had a puzzled spread on the floor while the youngest boy toddled about the small house. She was washing the morning dishes as the beds lay unmade and the toy chest overflowed on the living room floor.
She stepped to the window to check on the boys. It was something she did many times a day. But this time there was something different. They all stood in silence looking up to the heavens. She stepped out the door onto the tiny front porch. It was then that she spotted the false teeth…some one’s false teeth uppers were laying on the ground in the middle of the circle.
Her mind raced. Which one of these children had lost their uppers? Had someone taken them from the jar by their grandma’s bed for football show and tell? Why were they looking up at the sky?
The oldest, her son, was wide eyed with amazement. “God!” he cried. A gasp of shock came from every one’s lips. Cussing, saying that word, sin, bad, bad, bad! God, he said again and he pointed at the sky.
God and false teeth? She could not see the connection. They all began to talk at once. “We were playing football….they came streaking out of the sky…the noise was deafening…it roared like a lion…it was like a big jet…you know, like a big jet.” He was screaming, “It was God, he lost his false teeth!!!”
The oldest, the one with the idea of where it had come from had harbored the fantasy that God was his invisible friend. He was three when the idea occurred to him. It freaked them out they told their friends. He was the one that began to worry that God would miss his teeth. How were they ever going to get them back to him, him being up in heaven and all.
A small voice came from the doorway. “Mom, couldn’t we send it back up to heaven with the tooth fairy?” When she turned her daughter stood watching while holding her little brother. She was toothless and beautiful. Nods of agreement passed around the circle. “The tooth fairy must know god,” she could hear them thinking. Yes, the tooth fairy was the answer.
The children slept soundlessly, no snoring or muttering. She had taken the teeth from under her daughter’s pillow. A silver quarter had replaced them. A yellow envelope lay on the counter addressed simply God. The return address said The Tooth Fairy. She would walk to the mailbox in the morning while they were at school. She didn’t try to reason it out with her children, her husband or even herself. Who knew where the teeth came from. She just liked the idea that the children thought that there was a God in the heavens and that he might have false teeth.