When my son was six, he lost a tooth on Christmas Eve.
What are the chances that Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy would visit on the same night? Pretty slim, feared my son. The problem? We were 2,500 miles from home.
Suddenly the idea that the Tooth Fairy wouldn’t be able to find him was troubling. This fueled further doubt that Santa himself would be able to find us in Arizona. My child slept anxiously that night, but awoke to abundant reward.
As my son wondered how both Santa and the Fairy were able to find us in a nondescript condo we had rented for the week, I offered a plausible theory: Mr. Claus and Ms. Fairy had both gone to our house in Maryland to find no one there. Santa had a full bag and the fairy had some heavy coins to leave, but they wouldn’t dream of making their drops in an empty house.
The two teamed up and searched for clues as to where Joseph might be. They noticed three suitcases were missing, and very little food in the refrigerator, and no cookies left out on a plate. Just then they happened upon a copy of our itinerary. When no hotel was listed, they followed clues–souvenir coffee mugs and refrigerator magnets to home in on the city and state, perhaps a return address label from a Christmas card–to Joe’s grandmother’s condo, right next door to where we were staying. Bingo, working as a dynamic duo, they solved the mystery and deposited the treasure.
We returned to Arizona 15 months later. Just before leaving for the airport, as my husband and I checked to be sure the stove was off and all the doors and windows were locked, I found a small piece of blue notepaper, marked in my son’s printing:
Dear Easter Bunny,
We are at the Hilton East in Tucson.
It’s almost Easter; does the bunny know where you are?