Charlotte, age five, has lost two teeth within the last 48 hours. There are so many simple joys in parenting – namely, all of the firsts: the first word, first step, first birthday, first day of school, and the loss of the first tooth.

As the mother of many children, it amazes me how alike each of the children are in their responses to these “firsts”. Excitement, then timidity; courage, then fear; trust and finally surprised elation! In the loss of the first tooth, all of these emotions are stamped indelibly upon the upturned face of that trusting, yet fearful child. Fearful, yet still hopeful…trusting in the best possible outcome. Lord, may I learn this same lesson!

So now we come to the dilemma that every parent faces…tooth fairy or no tooth fairy? Having lived on both sides of this question, I say “no tooth fairy”. I lived under the tyrannical reign of that tiny imp for many years…she is a harsh taskmaster. Promises of cash in exchange for a tooth. How many times was said tooth carefully wrapped and tucked under the pillow, only to be forgotten by her royal highness? Too many times to count. Though many teeny, tiny letters were written, offering apologies, the family finally fired her. Mom and dad now offer cash for teeth and simply mail them in bulk to the New Tooth Facility, where they will be ground into a fine powder and sprinkled into the mouths of sleeping babes to promote the growth of new teeth. A tidy solution to a troublesome problem!