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This I Believe

KUHF-Houston Public Radio’s “This I Believe” with Martin Pena

Martin Pena was raised in the Aldine area of north Houston but today, he lives in Katy with his wife and two children. Martin's young son and daughter have had recent encounters with the tooth fairy and those adventures are the focus of this essay for KUHF's This I Believe.


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Martin was born in Reynosa, Mexico, across the border from McAllen, on the southern tip of Texas. When he was five years old, Martin and his family immigrated to the USA. They chose Houston as their new home. Martin says his upbringing was great. He enjoyed school and sports and after graduating high school, he attended the University of Houston. Martin went to work for Compaq and moved up the ranks and today is a Project Manager for Hewlett-Packard. He met his wife at work and they have had two children. Martin says his family is the light of his life and he enjoys his children more than he ever expected. His essay for This I Believe was born from an experience he had with his kids and it expresses one of the many joys that only parents can appreciate.

Here’s Martin Pena with his essay for KUHF’s This I Believe.
“I believe in the miracle of the tooth fairy.

I have seen this miracle with my own eyes and have witnessed the magical power in the eyes of my own children. My wife Liza and I have two beautiful kids who fill our lives with love, joy and purpose. My son Mark Anthony is nine years old and my daughter Marissa Ellen is six.

Mark has lost four teeth and is now wearing a retainer to help straighten his new teeth. Marissa just lost her two bottom teeth and has two new ones on the way. My wife is keeping their lost teeth in little see through boxes as a memory of our kid’s childhood. The contents of these little boxes prove my belief that there is something really special about this miracle.

I have seen my kids cry over the pain of their loose teeth. I have seen them scream with joy when their loose tooth finally wiggles off and I have seen them shy away from smiling when they are with family and friends. I have seen them laugh at their own funny face in the mirror and get sad at the same time. I have seen their excitement when they see their new teeth appear.

I have seen their faces glow as they pass yet another childhood milestone and have been amazed by the experience of seeing their growth right before my eyes.

I have looked deep into their beautiful brown eyes and have seen the miracle of their childhood dreams. My son wants to play baseball or football when he grows up. My daughter wants to be a teacher or an artist. I believe my kid’s dreams will come true. For me, the miracle of the tooth fairy is not in seeing my kid’s smile when they find a dollar bill under their pillow. The magical power of this miracle is in seeing their gradual growth as a person, one tooth and one dream at a time. This I believe.”