Many Share in Jaden’s Smile

Many Share in Jaden’s Smile

Notes from The Homefront



Jaden stepped off the bus holding back his tears and revealing a new gaping hole in his frown. Although this first-grader at Potomac Elementary should’ve been thrilled to lose his first upper top tooth while riding the school bus, the napkin where he stashed it had been tossed into the bus’s trash can when the tooth had seemingly disappeared from it.

Our hearts sank as we watched the bus pull away.

I rushed home and called the Montgomery County bus depot at least to make a recovery attempt, never expecting anything to come from it, or even to reach a live voice.

I was elated when Hugo, at the bus depot, kindly offered to personally search the third seat from the back on the right side of bus #1215. When he discovered that the bus hadn’t returned to the lot yet, he called to update me that he would contact its driver, Lilly, and alert her of the missing needle in the haystack. An hour later at 5 p.m., Hugo called me with the news that Lilly was on her way to our house to hand-deliver the found tooth.

We greeted the empty bus with jumping, fist-thrusting, and cheering. Lilly had not only searched the bus, but had recalled the crumpled napkin discarded by Jaden as he exited the bus. She retrieved it from the trash as a last look. Unbeknownst to Jaden, the tooth had remained attached to the napkin when it was discarded.

Jaden was euphoric to have his tooth back and receive confirmation that the tooth fairy would visit our home that night. Of course, I realized that the ultimate tooth fairy had already come.

— Elana Silversmith