|Placeholder for The New Georgie Witherspoon|
Georgie called it exploring.
There is a difference.
Snooping means you are looking for something without anybody knowing about it. Exploring means you are looking around just to look around and if you HAPPEN to find something...
Like the shocking discovery Georgie made in Mother’s vanity when she was eight years old. A little jewelry box with Georgie’s initials on it. And inside were several little teeth. Georgie’s baby teeth.
Usually when Georgie made a new discovery while exploring--and it was something wild--she kept it a nice little secret. Something she knew about the others that the others didn’t know she knew about them. Like how Isaiah, at thirteen, still had that stuffed dinosaur from his babyhood under his mattress.
But a jewelry box full of her teeth was too much! She ran out of her parents’ bedroom with the box in her hand, stood at the top of the stairs and shouted for them. Daddy came running in from his study and Mother from the parlor. They hurried up the stairs to her and she held the box in front of their worried faces.
“EXPLAIN YOURSELVES!” she yelled.
Mother snatched the box from her. “Georgianna Patricia-Nichole what have I told you about snooping!”
“I wasn’t snooping, I was exploring! WHY DO YOU HAVE MY TEETH IN A BOX!” Georgie’s shouting brought the rest of the family and the staff into the room to see what was going on. Georgie spotted Moira. “DID YOU KNOW ABOUT THIS?”
“Georgianna, stop shouting,” Daddy said. “Just calm down.”
Georgie took three deep, dramatic breaths. “So what does this mean? The Tooth Faery didn’t want them anymore so she gave them back? Just tell me the truth. I can handle it.”
Isaiah giggled and was nudged by Moira.
Daddy and Mother looked at one another. Daddy took a deep breath. “There is no Tooth Faery, Georgianna,” he said, stroking Georgie’s hair.
For several seconds, it felt like Georgie’s heart had dropped into her stomach. She stared into Daddy’s gentle blue eyes. There was no laughter in them, like he was about to give away the punchline.
“No tooth Faery?”
“No, Sweetheart,” he said. He sat at the top of the stairs and pulled Georgie onto his lap. “Mother and I have been taking your teeth and leaving you the money.”
Georgie stared at him. “So you’ve been stealing my teeth? Is that why you made up this tooth faery story so you wouldn’t get busted?”
“Georgianna,” Mother said, sitting next to Daddy. “We didn’t steal your teeth.”
“I say you did. They were my teeth. I didn’t put them under the pillow for you to take. I put them there for the Tooth Faery you told me about because you said she needed them to give to new babies. I mean geez, if you people wanted my teeth, why didn’t you just ask for them?” Mother and Daddy didn’t answer. They didn’t really know what to say. Georgie shook her head. “So what else have you been lying to me about?”
“I wouldn’t call them lies, Georgianna,” Daddy said. “Just. Just nice stories.”
“Nice stories to cover your crimes!”
“Georgianna, that isn’t necessary--”
“You’ve been telling me stories for...” She stopped, realizing something. “Wait a minute. WHOSE BEEN HIDING THE EGGS AT THE CHURCH?”
“Well, we don’t really know who does that,” Mother chuckled nervously. “The Deacon Board I guess.”
“But not the bunny sent by Jesus.” Mother and Daddy looked at one another, then at Georgie, then shook their heads sadly. Georgie hopped off of Daddy’s lap and began pacing the top of the stairs. “Dear, Sweet Lord!” she said. It was the first time she would use this phrase. She stopped and sighed. “Anything else?” They looked at one another again. The staff looked at one another. It was a big one and the tension in the room gave it away. Georgie nodded. “It’s Santa Claus isn’t it?”
The silence was thick as honey.
“I don’t believe it,” Georgie said. “All these years. Do you guys think I’m some kind of cream puff that can’t deal with real life? I fell off the roof of the summer house and broke my arm and didn’t cry! I ate yellow snow in New York and lived to tell about it! And you guys can’t even ask me if you can have my teeth or leave me a present without telling me about some cookie hog coming down the chimney? What is wrong with you people?”
“Santa Claus is real!” Elijah suddenly said. “He’s based on a real guy.” He hurried up the stairs and took her hands. “I read about it. So Mother and Daddy haven’t been yanking your chain about that. You’ll still get presents without the cookie hog or the reindeer on the roof.”
“Is that a promise?” Georgie asked him. Elijah looked at Mother and Daddy and they nodded. “And you guys don’t think I’m a cream puff?”
“Of course we don’t, Sweetheart,” Daddy said. “And we’re sorry. No more faerytales.”
Georgie looked around the room. All the faces looking at her were anxious. Except Isaiah who was smirking. She couldn’t help but feel a little disappointed that he never told her about these lies disguised as Faerytales. She just might tell his stupid, macho friends about that dinosaur he’s still sleeping with. She smiled at that thought and there was a collective sigh of relief. The staff got back to work.
It took Georgie a few more years before she could take Mother and Daddy seriously again. And she continued to explore although she noticed that she wasn’t finding as much as she used to.
They’re on to me...