Tooth Fairy

Kathy Rice

August 20, 2018

Many years ago, Donnie was getting up early and coming home late. The demands of customers to get additions completed, roofs covered, and decks finished kept him going. The children longed to spend some quality time with their father. It was time for a vacation.

Six-year-old Caleb and four-year-old Angela could hardly contain themselves. We were going on a road trip all the way to Montana to visit Grandpa and Grandma and all the Aunts and Uncles and cousins. Angela played with eighteen-month-old Michael as Caleb and I put the suitcases in the trunk of our tiny “K-car.” We were going to leave as soon as Daddy got home from work, so I wanted everything to be ready.

I tried to think of ways to make this trip fun for everyone. On a journey that long, the travel itself has to be half the fun. I bought little toys, like squirt guns, bow and rubber-tipped arrows, Polly pockets, Ninja Turtle figurines, and travel games. I needed enough toys to keep the children happy and avert the ever-present question, “are we there yet?” I wrapped the presents and hid them so I could give them an unexpected surprise whenever they needed a new spark.

I had one more great idea. I handed each of them a roll of quarters.

“You can buy whatever you want with these quarters when we are in Montana,” I explained, “but there is a catch! Every time you fight, are cranky, or even ask, ‘Are we there yet,’ you have to pay me a quarter.” They looked at each other and moaned.

“But,” I continued in a chirpy excited voice, “every time I see you are being particularly nice or giving in to each other, I’ll give you a quarter. It’s possible you could have two rolls of quarters or nothing at all.” They jumped up and down at the thought of all the money they could make on a long trip like this.

In spite of the fun time we had, my pockets slowly filled up with quarters. Two thousand miles in a little car was a long way no matter how old you are, and the little spats and pouts cost the children a quarter here and there.

We all were so happy to finally reach our destination. Caleb and Angela played all day on the farm with their cousins and we soon decided it was time for all of them to have a sleepover at Grandma and Grandpa’s house. Daddy and I covered the floor in their den with sleeping bags and the children scrambled to stake their claim on where they were going to sleep with the cousins.

“Daddy,” Caleb moaned. “I have a wiggly tooth!”

Daddy checked it out, and sure enough, that tooth was ready to come out. Caleb carefully put it under his pillow and we prayed, hugged, and kissed good-night. Daddy whispered, “I love you,”  as he turned out the lights.

It was late and I was exhausted. Before I knew it, morning had broken and the children were starting to stir. Daddy and I joined them on the floor for some fun quiet time, talking to the children about their plans for the day.

I got up to help grandma start breakfast when the roughhousing started. Suddenly Caleb exclaimed, “My tooth!!”

I had forgotten to put money under his pillow! I started to make an excuse for that absentminded tooth fairy when Caleb spotted quarters, lots and lots of quarters that fell out of my pocket. He exclaimed, “Dad! Look what the tooth fairy left me!!” I quickly reacted and began to protest, but Daddy held up his hand to stop my words, and he exclaimed, “Wow! That must have been some tooth for the tooth fairy to pay out like that! As Caleb started counting out his quarters, I slipped my hand under his pillow and snatched the tooth away.

In a time of worship recently, I felt the presence of the Holy Spirit. I knew our praises were entering heaven. We sang…

“I’ve heard a thousand stories of what they think you’re like
But I’ve heard the tender whispers of love in the dead of night
And you tell me that you’re pleased
And that I’m never alone
You’re a good good father
It’s who you are, it’s who you are, it’s who you are
And I’m loved by you
It’s who I am, it’s who I am, it’s who I am”

The image of “Father” is impressed on us in childhood. Some children never have the blessing of a loving father, whether due to death, abuse, or abandonment. Psalms 68:5 says “A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in His holy dwelling.”
Donnie didn’t know what a good father looked like, so he prayed, ‘Teach me! Teach me to be a good father and a Godly, loving husband. He set out on a quest to discover what a father should be. As we raised our family, he failed many times. And as a mother, I did too. But Donnie preached forgiveness to his children and we practiced forgiveness. As he sought out fathers, he had many Godly men who loved and encouraged him, spoke into his life and called him to accountability. But no matter what, they were earthen vessels – fallible, weak, and working out their salvation just like him.

There came a time when God revealed his quest to find a father was over. For a season God had given him men to father him. But God is the father to the fatherless and He was calling Donnie to draw near to Him.

God desires us to draw near to Him just as a good father desires for his children to come around and be part of his life. It’s time to engage, sit before the Father, exalt Him and meditate on His word. It’s the opportunity to listen to His directions, obey, and repent of the things He brings to light that displease Him. He loves us and we were created to be in fellowship with Him. He is our good Father and it’s in that relationship that all else falls into place.

“I’ve seen many searching for answers far and wide
But I know we’re all searching
For answers only you provide
‘Cause you know just what we need
Before we say a word
You’re a good good father
It’s who you are, it’s who you are, it’s who you are
And I’m loved by you
It’s who I am, it’s who I am, it’s who I am
Because you are perfect in all of your ways
You are perfect in all of your ways
You are perfect in all of your ways to us”
Lyrics by Pat Barrett and Tony Brown

About the Author: Kathy Rice

Kathy Rice has lived in Pennsylvania since marrying her husband in 1977. She was born and raised in Montana, and attended Montana State University and YWAM’s School of Evangelism in Bozeman. She met her husband on a wagon train that went across the United States in 1976 during the bicentennial with Youth With A Mission. She attended Christ for the Nations in Dallas, Texas, and worked in Haiti among the impoverished nationals where her first child was born. Her six grown children currently live in central Pennsylvania, and she enjoys time with her thirteen grandchildren. Kathy has authored a book, Kathy Run, telling of her young life on a farm in northeast Montana while attending a one-room school. She is currently a Realtor® with Re/Max of Lebanon County. Many of her inspirational pieces are drawn from her experiences on the farm, on the mission field, and raising her family next to her husband, Donnie Rice.

2 Comments

  1. Stacey and Bob

    Kathy and Donnie,
    Your a precious couple who has raised a beautiful family. In the over 30+ years we have known you and your family, you are a blessing to all! Thank you for sharing your memories and showing our mighty Gods love.❤️

    Reply
  2. Larry Lang

    Before you were husband and wife the “Good Father” was and is still working in your lives. I am so blessed to have been with you from the beginning. Now you are Grandfather and Grandmother. Really blessed to the going out and coming in. I love you guys.

    Reply

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