|by Selannia at Photobucket|
When B was three years old and St. Patty's Day rolled around I decided to make it magical for her. B and I made a leprechaun trap out of a shoebox covered with tissue paper. We set it up on the dining table with some shiny things to lure the leprechaun in. We, and by we I mean she, went to bed knowing that we had built a unbeatable trap and we would get the leprechaun and he would have to give us his gold! What she didn't know was I secretly had gotten green shamrock confetti and gold chocolate coins
After she had finally gone to sleep, which took forever because she was a turd about going to sleep ONLY beside me and woke up every time I moved to ease out of bed, I got up and started throwing confetti around like a drunken-fairy, knocking over the dining chairs, sprinkling coins and mischief all over our dining room.
In the morning as we woke together, I had to remind her that it was St. Patrick’s Day and that we might have a leprechaun in our trap. She scrambled out of that bed so fast running into the dining room and staring in amazed confusion! I explained everything as she explored the mess as if it was news to me,
"Look, we didn't catch him but he was very mischievous knocking over these chairs."
"Oh, he left us fake gold that is actually chocolate to reward the cleverness of our trap."
"We must have scared him because he pooped out all these shamrocks!" Hahaa, leprechauns pooping out glittery shamrocks- I’m so funny sometimes!
What I didn't realize is that all the mess I made would be cleaned up by someone. Who? Oh, you know who. Moi. And I also didn't think about all the years I would have to play the little green imp. I didn’t think about all the years that I would forget about St. Patrick’s Day until the girls started wandering around the house 10 minutes before bedtime on a school night to find supplies to make their trap when I didn't have ANY Leprechaun loot to toss around (like last night). But what could I, can I, do at this point? Crush their magical beliefs?
I have always tried to make things magical for my girls, there seems to be so little imagination left in the world with television and electronic talking books and video games. When B was tiny and she saw a dust mote floating through a sunbeam I told her it was a fairy. There, done, I made a fairy come to life just like that. She then saw fairies all around us. We honored those fairies in so many ways, always speaking in hushed tones of reverence to them. We left little treats out, made them miniscule fairy houses out of paper. Then one day, they stopped believing. It wasn’t dramatic or anything, I pointed out a fairy/dust mote and one of my girls said, “No, that’s just some dust or something.” The end.
My 10 year old and 7 year old still believe in Santa, the Easter Bunny, Leprechauns. I have yet to find a trace of doubt in their minds. We even talk about how the other kids say their parents play Santa, but my girls don’t believe it. Their world is still covered in sparkling magic, things unseen but evident in toys, a sooty footprints, and candy.
When I realized this year that I didn’t have a damn thing for the leprechaun to leave I seriously considered saying, “Look girls, there aren’t any leprechauns. That was me all these years.” But how could I do that?
After bedtime, even though it was late, Hubby and I went out to find leprechaun loot. Of course, at that late date there were no gold chocolate coins or confetti to be found. So we got green apple tic tacs, green drip pops, greenish Crabby Patty gummy sticks, a pot-of-gold pin, some green jelly bracelets. I manipulated their traps to look sprung and sprinkled the goodies around. I saw B had left the shiniest pennies she could find to lure the leprechaun in to her trap, I took those.
This morning, I woke the girls up and got in the shower. I could hear them running through the house. I knew they were looking at their separate traps and finding their goodies. As I dried off, I heard my bedroom door open, pitter-patting little feet and then they cracked the bathroom door as I stood there sans clothes and stuck their candy in the crack. “Look what he left us!” Z said. “He got new stuff this year,” B exclaimed. I was wondering if she would notice the inconsistency of the leprechaun goods each year and question the legitimacy of the whole thing. But she just thought he brought them something different this year. They excitedly showed their still sleeping dad and put on all their wearable goodies, I stopped them before they could eat their candy.
I know there are parents who think it is wrong to “lie” to their kids by telling them about Santa and perpetuating the myth. I don’t lie to my kids about many things, I try to be candid with my answer to their questions about life, bodies, etc.. And as a parent, I don’t always do things right and rarely do them like anyone else would. But as many things as I feel I fail at miserably as a mom I know that giving them this bit of magic to carry with them through the harsh realities of life is at least one good thing I have done.