Sequoia sempervirens in Redwood National Park
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There is this tree on the boulevard in front of my house. It is going to fall. The city doesn’t think so but the general consensus in the neighborhood is that it will and when it does it will fall on my house. It has been ripping apart for the last couple of years and now the squirrels have made a home in the trunk. When the ground thaws and the leaves come out it will fall. This will be the fourth boulevard tree on this block that has fallen since I moved here three years ago. If it does fall it will not be the first time a tree has targeted me.

When my children were infants I played the game Imagine the Worst Possible Scenario. If you aren’t familiar with it, it goes something like this:

You bring your brand new baby home from the hospital and then you panic because even though you baby proofed the house with things like outlet plugs and doorknob doo hickeys that make it impossible for an adult to open a door, you haven’t secured the chandeliers. So what that they have been hanging from the ceiling for decades and have given no indication that they will suddenly fall? They are only held up there by a thin piece of wire and maybe some decorative metal.  Now that you have this brand new baby you realize you are so much more likely to be robbed at gunpoint, tied up and tortured by bad guys. The cat must go because everyone knows that cats sneak into the crib in the middle of the night and suck the life out of babies, which really isn’t a problem because as a new parent you vigilantly watch your child sleep for the first year anyway. The dog will think the brand new baby is a chew toy so he must be kenneled. You can’t place your slumbering baby, carrier and all, on the table because it will topple over and kitchen counter tops are a no go too. The refrigerator could kick on and the vibration which resonates through the cabinets (even though no one can actually feel it) will push the baby and carrier off and onto the floor. The only safe place for the baby is in the car because you have stuck a Baby on Board decal onto your back window.

Admittedly it has been a while since I played this game. The new kid smell is long gone and I don’t worry about those kinds of things anymore.

Until my neighbor pointed out the tree. Now it is all I can think about.

When the tree hits it will hit my daughter’s bedroom. So daughter has been sleeping in my room for the last few nights.

It’s been one big slumber party.

Last night I let her watch TV before going to sleep. I did it because I didn’t want to stay up all night and that was her plan since she didn’t have school the next day. Usually she falls asleep by nine but not last night. TV was the only thing I could think of that would have at least prevented her from writing another book or paper macheing the dog.

While she was watching TV in my bed she started to play with her loose tooth, I was almost asleep when she announced that she had lost another tooth. Thankfully the tooth letting has gotten easier since the first one finally came out.

In my half awake state I told her to put it under the pillow. I figured the tooth fairy would have a much easier time of it since she was already so close. My plan was to wait for her to fall asleep and then take care of business. Guess who fell asleep first?

At 5am I sprung awake. Tooth Fairy!


I crept out of bed and went to my purse. I don’t usually carry much cash but I had a few ones and a five. I grabbed a bill and shoved it under the pillow. I searched for the tooth but couldn’t find it. It occurred to me that maybe she didn’t lose a tooth, I hadn’t actually seen the tooth since it was dark and I was half asleep. Maybe she was testing the tooth fairy. My son had done this, he lost a tooth, didn’t tell anyone and the tooth fairy didn’t come. This was actually very handy since I didn’t have to pretend anymore.

I searched for the tooth one more time, considered taking the bill back but decided not to risk it. I got up, got a cup of coffee and went into the living room.

Daughter woke up an hour later and came into the living room. She was pissed off.

“The tooth fairy didn’t leave anything” she said.

“Oh yes she did” I said as I stomped into the bedroom to investigate the situation.

I looked under the pillow, found the missing tooth, pocketed it but didn’t see the bill I left.


I started throwing pillows all over the place in search of the money. I know I left a dollar. I couldn’t have dreamed it.

I lift up the pillow that makes up the headboard. A left over body pillow from when I was pregnant. It was under there thankfully. However, in my half sleep state I had grabbed a five and not a one, out of my purse.


For a brief moment I considered making the switch except my purse was in the other room and daughter had just grabbed the five.

This just raises the bar for the next tooth.

When the tree comes down and the city is forced to replace my roof, I am adding the extra $4 on to the tab.

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