Last week marked a notable “first” for the Lyons Den. Our first kid lost his first tooth. It shouldn’t have come as a big surprise – he’s been wiggling it for weeks and many of his friends have been proudly boasting toothless smiles for months. However, when that little tooth finally popped out and Liam called my dad to announce “I lost my toof Pop-Pop! I LOST MY TOOF!” I had tears in my eyes. This, I thought, is the end of an era.

There have been many signs along the way that might have alerted me to the fact that the five year old before me is no longer a baby, no longer a toddler, but a real kid — “all boy” as his teacher told me last week. This kid, this boisterous little boy, goes to school, makes his bed, puts his dishes in the dishwasher, gets himself dressed and is (far too!) frequently charged with supervising his siblings. We often treat him like a little adult and he responds in kind – sometimes even sauntering with his hands in pockets like a wise little man far beyond his five years. Why then, I wonder, have I been so moved, so caught off guard by the loss of his first tooth? I suppose it’s because this tooth seems like a beacon of things to come — of other notable firsts. First grade, for instance, looms right around the corner!

As Des and I talked over dinner that night, he said “You know, he’ll make a good husband one day.” WHAT?!! A husband?! But he’s only five! Somehow this tooth has us marrying the kid off! While we’re at it, I asked “What we do with the tooth?” Of course, Liam was expecting the tooth fairy to whisk it away… and so she did. But now what? Des said “Just throw it away.” Throw it away?! This perfectly formed little piece porcelain? How could we?!

And then it came to me – we can give it to his wife on their wedding day! There. Now I feel better. I will hold on to that tooth and it will be a gift for the lucky Mrs. Liam Lyons to be. Maybe. Or realistically, maybe not. Either way, I’m not letting go of this first tooth for a long long time. And, just as Liam continues to believe in the Tooth Fairy and eagerly awaits the telltale wiggling of the next tooth, I have to believe that this is a kid who will happily ever after. After all, isn’t that what fairy tales are for?