When I was about 7 or 8 years old, I found out the truth about the Tooth Fairy. I still remember that night like it was yesterday. I was extra excited for the Tooth Fairy to come, because I had left her a new dollhouse rocking chair. I wanted to see her surprised face, and see her sit in the chair, so I stayed up that night.
As I pretended to sleep, anxiously awaiting the Tooth Fairy, I suddenly heard my mom coming down the hallway. I panicked a little and held my breath. My mom quietly snuck into my room, I felt her lift up my pillow, and then quickly sneak out.
For a moment, I was confused. Maybe she was making sure I remembered to put my tooth under my pillow? But, then when I looked under my pillow, I saw the dollar bill. Instant heart crusher!
I cried myself to sleep that night. My thoughts snowballed – If there’s no Tooth Fairy, then that means there’s no Santa…Which means no Easter Bunny…Which means…It was too much for my little heart to take.
The next morning, I confronted my mom as she was making breakfast for us. I told her I knew the truth! And, then I told my older brother, Nate, that I was really sad about it all. Nate was only about 9 or 10 at the time.
He hugged me, and then he said, “Don’t worry, Kara, there’s always the Fish Fairy!”
“Oh, yeah! If you make a fishing pole, and leave it out in the swimming pool, or any area of water, and you’re well-behaved that day, then the Fish Fairy will leave you something at the end of the line,” my brother explained to me.
So, we ran out to the backyard, found a long stick and some string, and made a fishing rod and line.
My childhood beliefs were restored!
The next morning, I pulled the fishing rod out of our pool, and found a stuffed dog, Odie, from “Garfield.” I was so excited! The Fish Fairy WAS real!
We left the fishing line out again the next night, and the next morning I had another toy waiting for me at the end of the line!
We continued doing this for about two weeks.
Then, one day, my mom sat me down on the couch and said we needed to talk. My first thought was, “Uh oh, what did I do this time?!” 😉
But, then she told me, “Kara, honey, I know you have been enjoying the Fish Fairy and all, but I have to tell you the truth. Your brother made up the story about the Fish Fairy to make you feel better, and he’s been going out there every night, and giving you toys from his room. He’s running out of things to give you, honey. And, this just can’t go on anymore. Unfortunately, we need to stop the Fish Fairy. Do you understand?”
At first, I was heartbroken again, because another childhood belief was being shattered. But, then my heart swelled up with so much gratitude.
I think it was at that moment I really understood what love meant.
The Fish Fairy story is one of my all-time favorite memories from my childhood. I often go back to this story in my life to remind myself of what is really important.
It’s not the actual gifts and material things. It’s the love given to you. My brother, even at the young age of 9 or 10, loved me so much that he made up the Fish Fairy for me, and on a whim nonetheless!
The love given to me in the CrossFit community is very similar, and I’m sure many, if not all of you, can relate to what I’m saying. That unconditional, positive regard is priceless.
When I didn’t qualify for Regionals, I felt like my entire gym tried to give me the Fish Fairy back.
It’s what we do here – We lift each other up! When a member is down, we all jump in to give love and support, because at the end of the day, the scores and times don’t really mean much compared to the relationships and memories we are making here each and every day.
It is always the journey, not the destination. It’s the people, not the things. It’s the memories and how you were made to feel.
“People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” ~ Maya Angelou
My brother makes me feel loved. CrossFit makes me feel strong. My CrossFit community makes me feel supported.
How do you make the people most important in your life feel?