I am participating in the March Slice of Life Challenge: A slice a day for all of March. You should do it too! Thank you, Two Writing Teachers! Readers, check out their site, and start slicing!
In the car on the way home from picking up the big kids from school, the conversation turns to St. Patrick’s Day and leprechaun traps.
“I know you’re the leprechaun, Mommy.” H says, and I laugh.
“I’m not a leprechaun! I’m not that short! I don’t have red hair! I have no magic!”
L and H roll their eyes at me. “You always say that. We know you aren’t a leprechaun, or Santa, but you always say, ‘How could I have time to give presents out all over the world?'” L complains.
“We just mean it’s you who takes the gold and leaves us green candy.” H explains.
I just laugh. Then I ask them, “What would you do if you came downstairs, opened your trap and there was a tiny little mean spirited elf screaming at you and throwing magic spells your way? ‘ARGH!!!!! ACHHH!!!!'”
They look surprised and laugh.
“I think you are all the things. Except for Christmas. Christmas is real. It has to be. Also, I think leprechauns are real. Teacher Mary said she saw one” H tells me. L agrees.
Teacher Mary has retired, but her magic lives on!
Later, I drop L off at her play rehearsal and run to Target.
I am on the hunt for something small and green or shiny. Something to leave just for fun. I am late for this errand, I know. A woman walks up next to me looking at the same leftover St. Patrick’s Day tchotchkes.
“I think those 4 leaf clover necklaces are all broken.” I tell her. She stares at them a little bit.
“I’m actually Irish,” she says, and I nod. I’m about to explain that I am part Irish when she continues, “Like, actually born in Ireland…We don’t do this there… This leprechaun trap thing.” She laughed. “But, my daughter came home from school saying, ‘Mommy! We have to set a trap for the leprechaun and he will come and leave us something tricky!’ So, here I am.”
We stare at the green headbands and four leaf clover socks together for a moment, before she walks away, saying ironically, “Well, good luck!”
The kids are finally all asleep. My sub plans are done for tomorrow. I look at the traps that the boys have set. One is a cardboard drink holder, decorated with puffy paint and plastic gold coins, set precariously on top of the puffy paint containers. That’s the one I made with E. Rushing him a bit because, you know… bedtime! The other is the one that H made on his own. He filled a pot with water, floating some gold coins and duct taping others to the bottom of the pot.A piece of chalk keeps the pot’s lid on, ready to close. Before he went to bed, he explained that he didn’t want the leprechaun to drown. So, he left a lifesaver (mint, but with sharpied on stripes) and a short note.
Years ago, I found the leprechaun trap idea online. It looked like a fun thing to try with the kids. I didn’t really realize I was starting a tradition that would last for so long. I know this isn’t what St. Patrick’s Day is really about. I know it’s a silly pinterest fad gone crazy. But, I’m okay with the little bit of March Magic.
We didn’t catch any leprechaun’s last night. (Thank goodness… can you even imagine how scary that would be?) But, the kids did enjoy a few window gel rainbows, and just a couple of green candies for breakfast.