So, I had a major mom fail today. Actually, last night. My son lost his first tooth yesterday, something he’s been waiting on with anticipation.
He put the tooth under his pillow and eagerly awaited the tooth fairy, who had just come to our house last week for his big sister’s molar. But the tooth fairy didn’t come.
Let me repeat that. THE TOOTH FAIRY DIDN’T COME.
In other words, mom slept really well last night and it didn’t even dawn on her (me) to get up, steal away the tooth, and put cash under his pillow instead. And when his little feet came down the hall to tell me this morning and he came in crying—crying!—because he was so disappointed, I felt like the Worst. Mom. Ever.
I was really, really tempted to just blow the whole thing and tell him [SPOILER ALERT] that I’m the tooth fairy and I forgot, but it’s the first tooth he has lost. I couldn’t quite take that childhood rite of passage/fantasy away from him like that. Instead, I consoled him by holding him, telling him we’ll write a note to the tooth fairy to make sure she (or he, since Dwayne Johnson plays a reluctant one in the 2010 movie Tooth Fairy) knows he lost it. And I let him use the special tooth pillow my aunt made me when I was a kid losing teeth (the heart-shaped, Winnie-the-Pooh pillow behind him, above) to make the tooth easy for the tooth fairy to find.
There is one thing that redeems me as a mother in all of this, though. I love my child. I may not have completed what he expected and wanted to happen—yet—but I love him. And because of that, I care for him and will take care of him throughout the day and into the night, when I plan to fulfill my role as household tooth fairy.
Thinking of that brought to mind God’s love for me—for us—and the fact that his love never fails. He always loves us, always will love us, and always cares for us.
Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever. (Psalm 136:1, ESV)
And better yet—God doesn’t forget us. He isn’t so busy that he forgets to do something in our lives and has to feel the remorse that I felt when I failed my child. I think sometimes we feel like God has forgotten us, because he seems distant or our prayers are seeming to go unanswered. But when we’re feeling like that, we need to keep two things in mind: God’s timing is incredibly different than ours, and he has a plan for us.
With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. (2 Peter 3:8, NIV)
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28, NIV)
Even if my son knew that I was the tooth fairy, I doubt he’d think that because I failed to complete my task it was proof I didn’t love him. Don’t ever doubt that God doesn’t love you, either—he hasn’t forgotten you. He loves you, and he longs for you to love and trust him in return. Trust in his love for you, in his plans for you. His love never fails.