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Each Other

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My daughter had not lost a tooth in what seemed like years. So when it came time to leave her a gift from the Tooth Fairy we weren’t quite sure what to leave. So we hid a five dollar bill under her pillow. We each thought that was a reasonable amount.

To backtrack, the night before, my son, who had yet to lose a tooth, was more excited than anyone. He couldn’t wait to see what the Tooth Fairy was would leave her. When they woke up, neither one of them could find anything. At first they were disappointed. Then I unraveled the blanket and a five dollar bill appeared. My son was excited. My daughter. Not so much.

Apparently one of her friends had recently gotten earrings and a shirt from the Tooth Fairy. So five dollars must have paled in comparison. I went downstairs to begin getting ready for the day. Part of me was felt that my daughter was spoiled for not being grateful for the five dollars. Another part of me was trying to put myself in her shoes.

It is not always easy for a parent to put themselves in their child's shoes. But I try.

After a few minutes my son came back down with the five dollar bill in his hand. Apparently, she decided she didn't want it and so she gave it to him. He was ecstatic. She was pouting.

I went back upstairs to check on my daughter. She was still down about what the Tooth Fairy had left her. Or to be more accurate. Had not left her.

Think quickly Jon!

She is an amazing big sister and I had an idea about how I could spin this. I hoped it would work.

I convinced her to think about the joy that her brother had shown during this whole experience. I told her that her greatest gift was the happiness and innocence her brother had shown throughout.

We called him back up. And as he sat across from us on the bed, he told us about everything that had taken place the night before. He said that he had actually seen the Tooth Fairy. He had even seen her wings and he told us that that she was beautiful. He described everything in great detail. As if he really did see it.

Who knows? Maybe he did.

The magic is still real for him and that is a beautiful thing.

My daughter is at the age where I am 99.9% sure she knows how Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny operate. But she still plays along.

But I have to tell you. Watching her face light up as her younger old brother shared his story was priceless. Earrings from Tiffany's would not have compared. It was absolutely priceless! A moment I will never forget.

The morning went on as usual. A mad 30 minute rush to get out the door with lunches made, outfits matching and breakfasts eaten. We were on schedule to leave on time. My wife and kids leave a little bit before me. I always walk them out to the car. Give them each a kiss and wave goodbye as they holler down the street. It is a nice routine that starts my day off with a smile.

But this morning my daughter still wasn’t herself. She wasn’t completely satisfied with the way she looked. Damn social media and air brushing! My wife and son went out to the car and my daughter lagged behind. As she was gathering up everything for school I noticed that she stopped for a minute to do something. What, I wasn’t quite sure.

She got a napkin and a marker. Wrote a quick note on it. And stuffed it in my lunchbox. Once she turned away I had to check. When I saw what she had written my heart smiled.


(Love you have a great day)

This small gesture took all of about ten seconds. But it meant the world to me. Here, my daughter had given her gift from the Tooth Fairy to her brother, been upset about her appearance and yet she took the time to secretly wish me a great day.


I have yet to fully digest all that transpired that day even though I know there were several takeaways. But I do know this. Our children and our students are capable of much more than we sometimes give them credit for.

Moments do mean more to them than merchandise.

My daughter taught me that we always have the potential to give. Even when we are sad. And in doing so we make each other stronger. And in doing so we make each other better. And in doing so we make each other realize what’s most important in life.

Each other.


Piglet sidled up to Pooh from behind.

“Pooh?” he whispered.

“Yes, Piglet?”

“Nothing,” said Piglet, taking Pooh’s hand.

“I just wanted to be sure of you.

A.A. Milne

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Jon is currently the assistant principal in Dorchester County, Maryland. This is his seventh year serving as an assistant principal at the elementary level. Prior to becoming an administrator he served as a Math Coach and an elementary school teacher. During his ten years as a classroom teacher he taught first, second, fourth and fifth grades. During his sixth year teaching he earned Nationally Board Certification, which he held for ten years. For seven years he ran a Young Gentleman's Club that was aimed at helping young men reach their full potential.  

Jon received a B.A. from Furman University while majoring in Philosophy. He later went on to earn his B.S from Salisbury University while majoring in Elementary Education. Jon was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to student teach in New Zealand. He eventually received his M.A. degree from Salisbury University in Public School Administration.

Jon lives in Cambridge, Maryland with his amazing wife and two awesome children.

  • Guest
    Alana Stanton Wednesday, 21 June 2017

    How beautiful that your daughter took the time to write a note to wish you a great day. She knew the patience you had with her, the love and care you expressed, and the joy you find in her being her. You took the time to think through her lens. How blessed this family is. Thank you for sharing. We (mike) and I could imagine the scene as I read it outloud.
    Alana Stanton

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