Linda, a full-time working single mother, had very little free time to spend with her kid. Linda couldn’t bring herself to disappoint her young son when he confided in her one day that he had lost his tooth and intended to place it under his pillow so that the tooth fairy would leave him some money. She unexpectedly discovered numerous bills tucked under his pillow when she went to his room to leave him some cash.
Linda resisted her husband’s urge to become a stay-at-home mom and remained steadfast. Even after many years of marriage and raising two great children, she stayed dedicated to her job.
Linda, referred to by her coworkers as “Mrs. Winterbottom,” toiled relentlessly, putting in extra hours, and exerting every effort possible to establish her worthiness of promotions and large incomes that her husband believed only males should receive. However, Mr. Winterbottom grew dissatisfied with his marriage and his wife’s excessively ambitious character, which he thought didn’t suit their family’s demands. Every time Linda had to go to an important meeting or arrived home later than expected, Darren had to take care of the kids. He wanted her to be there for him and their children, but Linda had other plans.
Linda told Darren she was going to a conference later that week and he would have to leave work early to take care of the kids at the dinner table. Already put to bed were the kids.
Reaching for the salad, Darren remarked, “I think you should let it go this time. “The youngsters need you. Additionally, I’m working on a huge project that requires me to put in more overtime. I might be promoted if I handle it well.”
Linda stated firmly as she cut her steak, “Darren, I didn’t ask you if I should go or not. We’ll need to find a solution because “my work is equally important.”
He hurriedly asked, lowering his fork, “A way out?” Do you wish to employ a nanny? and let a stranger take care of our kids?”
Linda put down her fork. “You think you have a better idea?”
Angry, Darren abruptly pushed his chair back and stood up. He asked, “Why are you so stubborn, Linda?” “Will you never have to worry about money again because that conference was so crucial to your career? Obviously not. Thus, you must remain at home.
“Pardon me?” She answered. “Darren, you don’t have the right to instruct me on what to do or not do! I’m leaving, that much is certain.
The question “What the—”
And,” she continued, standing up. I’ll be back in a week, just so you know.
Darren was fuming with rage as Linda removed her dish and walked away from the table. Although he had always hoped Linda would put their family first, she had always been more concerned with advancing her job.
Darren thought Linda was being haughty, but for Linda, her profession was a way to support her family. Linda came from a low-income family and overcame many obstacles to complete high school and college before landing a job in a private company.
She aimed to earn enough money for her children to never be without anything. Darren felt that it was a man’s responsibility to provide and never understood it. So over time, Linda and Darren frequently clashed about who ought to have stayed at home and who ought to have earned a living.
After Linda returned from her conference, the situation had gotten so bad that Darren had made the decision to divorce her. Because Linda knew Darren would ask her to give up her profession, which she didn’t want to do, she didn’t try to persuade him that she was upset.
Thus, one day Linda and Darren told the kids they were splitting up.
But why are we acting in this way? Their daughter questioned, “I mean, you guys don’t hate each other, do you?” Unlike her younger brother Max, Hollie was a teenager and was curious as to the real cause of their parents’ separation.
Hollie was informed by Linda that she and Darren had decided to end their relationship since things were not going as well as they had hoped.
Hollie rolled her eyes and sighed. “OK, no big deal. But I will remain in Dad’s house. He is mellow. Also, Mom, you are solely to blame. You put too much effort into your task, thus your father is correct. You never come through for us.
Linda felt her heart stop. For how long did Hollie despise her because she was a working mother? Linda questioned, “And what about you, Max?” “Would you like to stay with Daddy too?”
Mom, he’s coming with us. Hollie interrupted Max. He isn’t old enough to know what’s best for him, right?
Hollie said, “Let him talk!” Linda shouted.
“No! “He won’t!” Hollie wept. “I won’t allow you to split up our family! Mom, you’ve already hurt us enough! I desired a full family! However, observe what you’re doing! You’re forcing us to pick between Dad and you! It’s all due to your foolish work!”
Keep in mind that you are speaking to your mother, Hollie.
“Mom, whatever! Max will remain in my company.
Linda closed her eyes and allowed herself to feel her daughter’s wrath. She never anticipated getting into such a heated argument with Hollie, but she was unable to abandon her son. Her daughter had already passed away.
After a moment, Linda said, “Well. Let the court make that decision. I’ll fight for Max’s custody, but Hollie, since you despise me, you can just go to your dad’s house.
A few weeks later, when Darren and Linda brought their kids to family court, Judge Peterson granted Linda custody of Max after speaking with the kids alone while their parents were not there. She would remain with Darren as long as Hollie desired.
Months went by. Linda threw herself into her work to get over her divorce, and since she wasn’t constantly at home, she hired a babysitter for Max. Linda read Joyce’s profile and immediately hired the nice 50-something woman who claimed to have three grandchildren and loved kids.
After a while, though, Linda started to feel as though her life was not turning out the way she had intended. She had always desired to make decisions independently of Darren and to focus only on her work. However, she was now beginning to miss her family.
Linda missed her daughter’s weekend temper outbursts and yearned for Darren’s reassuring hugs when she felt overwhelmed. Max was too little for Linda to share many things with him. She could open out completely to Darren and Hollie, though.
Linda gradually began to detest every aspect of her life. Even on weekends, she would work late into the night as part of her routine, which had grown boring. She was dissatisfied and miserable.
Linda had anticipated that bringing Joyce on board would help with domestic duties and fill the vacuum created by Darren’s departure. But it didn’t make up for her ex-husband’s absence. She questioned whether she had made the correct decision by letting him and their daughter go since she felt empty and lonely.
One day, Linda arrived home from work late and passed out on the couch. She heard Max sprinting down the stairs and bursting into the room as she closed her eyes, anxious to show her something.
“Mommy, take a look!” Max exclaimed, flashing his lost front tooth with a big grin. He had such a cute appearance, Linda started laughing.
Linda chuckled at Max’s enthusiasm about the tooth fairy and then closed her eyes once more after taking a long breath. She was relieved to learn that Max enjoyed being with her. She knew she had to play the tooth fairy that night because she couldn’t bear to let him down.
Linda made the choice to put some cash under her son’s pillow that evening. She ate dinner, started working on her laptop afterward, and then waited for Max to fall asleep before leaving the money in his room.
But Linda fell asleep on the couch that night because she was so exhausted. It was almost midnight when she finally opened her eyes. Going to Max’s room, Linda reasoned that it wasn’t too late to leave the money. When Linda got close to his bed, she was shocked to see cash under his pillow!
She knelt by Max’s side, wondering, “Is my mind playing tricks on me?” She meticulously counted the bills that protruded from his pillow after she removed them.
Who would keep that much cash in this location? Joyce, was it? Oh, this lady!”
Linda went to Joyce’s room to return the money after assuming that the nanny had placed it under Max’s pillow. She said that she didn’t want Joyce to spend so much money on Max when she discovered Joyce awake. However, Joyce disputed placing the money there and appeared perplexed.
Linda said with amazement, “You didn’t? Under Max’s pillow, I discovered $200, which is a sizable sum. Please return it.
Linda received reassurance from Joyce that she had not kept the money. Max was awakened by Linda when she returned to his room. He had lost a tooth, which she discovered when she searched under his pillow.
She questioned, “Max?” Has someone entered your room? Or, uh, did you tell anyone but Joyce and me about your tooth?
The young youngster shook his head while rubbing his eyes. “No, Mommy, but,” he lied, “I told Daddy. Has the tooth fairy arrived?
Excitedly picking up his pillow, Max scowled as he saw there was no money inside. He tearfully asked his mother, “Did she not give me money, Mommy?” after discovering no money under his pillow.
Well, um,” Linda stumbled to say. She—she did arrive with the cash, which I placed in your piggy bank.
“Really?” Max enquired with joy. “I’m grateful, Mommy.”
Max drifted off to sleep once more as Linda rushed into the living room furious. She believed Darren had entered via Max’s bedroom window in order to hide the cash and pose as a better father than she was. She called him right away, but he stated he was at work and had just come home an hour before.
“Darren, don’t you dare lie!” She spoke. “I’m sure you were it,”
“Linda, I don’t have to lie to you! If I wanted to give Max the money, I could have just come over.”
Linda was concerned that a stranger may have entered their home because Darren was legally permitted to visit Max. She conducted an online search for tips to get ready for such an occasion and came across some websites that offered various remedies. Although other websites suggested setting up security cameras, Linda believed that it would be a time-consuming task.
A loud siren-like noise was eventually made when someone entered the house through the doors or windows, and she quickly bought that alarm. She installed it the following day and waited for a potential burglar to set off the alarm in each room.
Linda had her concerns, but for days nothing out of the ordinary occurred near her home. Max did however let her know that he had lost another tooth a few weeks later. Linda wanted Max to phone Darren about the missing tooth because she had a new suspicion that Darren had left the money the last time. She was ready to witness Darren in action.
Linda excitedly awaited the alarm’s sound since she was resolved to stay awake that night. She hurried upstairs when she heard the siren suddenly emanating from Max’s chamber, only to be startled. Their son’s room had not been broken into by her ex-husband.
Max’s room had been accessed by Hollie, who also set off the alarm. When Linda unexpectedly encountered her, she silenced the siren. The noise startled Max up, and he sat in bed perplexed. Hollie insisted that Linda meet her in the living room for a discussion. Hollie left the room, and Linda followed her, telling Max to get back to sleep.
Linda questioned Hollie about whether she had actually given Max the money. Hollie acknowledged it and gushed about how much she missed and loved Max. She described her own experience of being required to read science and math textbooks when she was Max’s age and accused Linda of not caring about Max’s happiness.
“But Mom, I never had a good upbringing and I grew up miserable and melancholy! Why? because you two were always fighting or working! And I’d be forced to read those dull novels! I read him fairy stories because I didn’t want Max to experience the same thing, as a child his age should!
“I’m aware that I can’t get all that money for him the way you can, Mom! But I can ensure a pleasant childhood for my brother. He shouldn’t be unhappy, I thought. He would be if he didn’t discover any cash. I gave him the money as a result.
The question is, “Where did you get so much, though?”
“I saved money. My spending money.
Linda was upset by her daughter’s remarks, but more so humiliated. She was working hard to give her kids the greatest possible life. She had no intention of tearing her children apart, but she had managed to do it in her eagerness to advance her career.
Linda was a terrible mother who gave her kids material things but not affection.
Max was standing on the steps, listening to everything, when Linda noticed him. He cried out, “So Santa Claus and the fairies are not real?”
“Oh, little champ, they are real!” Hollie exclaimed as she lifted up Max. I explained to Mom that I gave you the money so she would know that I love my brother just as much as the tooth fairy loves children with damaged teeth.
Max was shocked and said, “Really? I believed they weren’t genuine.
Linda was deeply moved by the realization that her children’s pleasure came first. Hollie’s birthday party was the result of her decision to set things right and her promise to be a better mother going forward.
Linda added, “I can’t change the past, Hollie, but I’ll try to improve things for us in the future.”
After the party, Hollie took some time to warm up to Linda, but Darren was happy to see that she had changed for the benefit of their kids. Linda passed out on Darren’s shoulder at the end of the day from exhaustion. She felt as like she was falling in love with Darren all over again as she opened her eyes and saw the sun’s gentle rays shining on his face.
Linda gave Darren a cheek kiss and made a commitment to herself to reunite their family. Linda resigned from her position and decided to stay at home with her children after learning about Darren’s significant advancement a week later. Additionally, they made the decision to have a second wedding with special visitors; Hollie served as the flower girl and Max served as the cute best man.