Progress, Not Perfection

PROGRESS: gradual betterment

The post below is from this time last year.  I am proud to say that this year I was one of the moms who managed to get a few gold coins before they were all gone.  That’s progress!  Sometimes, I think that may just be all this parenting thing is about: progress.  Gradual betterment.  Doing a little better.   Better than yesterday.  Better than last year.  Better than my parents.

TRADITION: an inherited, established, or customary pattern of thought, action, or behavior

Am I the only mother who missed the leprechaun memo?

Last year, Son attended a preschool where the teacher flipped things upside down on St. Patrick’s Day as evidence of a leprechaun visiting the class during recess to cause mischief.  I thought it was a sweet, quirky, and isolated incident.

Yesterday, all the children in Son’s class made leprechaun traps.  The teacher sent out a video of the children explaining how their traps worked.  One was like a leprechaun fishing line to reel in the short guy.  Others were elaborate systems of brambles, ladders, tubes and other enticements.  One girl seemed to be more focused on creating an appealing home for the leprechaun than a trap (a pretty good strategy, me thinks).  The traps were left in the classroom over the weekend and the children will be checking for dehydrated leprechauns on Monday morning.

The leprechaun madness would have remained confined to the classroom if we hadn’t supplied Son with a box full of invention supplies (read: junk drawer repackaged).  He came home from school and set to work creating a second leprechaun trap for our front porch.

Now, I did not grow up in the most celebratory of households.  My friends had moms who made elaborate cookies for St. Nicholas Day, celebrated half-birthdays and found ways to honor all of Hallmark’s holidays.  My 100% Irish mother stuck to the Jesus and Pilgrim holidays – Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving.  This leprechaun trapping tradition is new to me.

So there I was, spending my Friday night searching the internet for advice on what to do with a leprechaun trap:

Was I supposed to find a short man, dress him in green, glue a beard to his chin and force him to contort his body into the cardboard and masking tape trap on my porch?

Was I supposed to drench the trap in Guiness and Bailey’s so it smelled Irish?

Should I leave it alone and teach my kids a thing or two about the real world?

Turns out, you are supposed to leave gold foil-wrapped chocolate coins in the trap as evidence that the leprechaun was there but got away.  Or at least, that’s what the internet told me…

So, I headed to the grocery store to find…a completely empty bin where the chocolate coins use to be.  Apparently, all the good moms in Seattle saw the leprechaun madness coming and began stockpiling gold coins earlier in the week.  I was left to sort through the bins of Easter candy for things that could plausibly fall out of a leprechaun’s pockets.   Top of the green-and-gold-wrapped-Easter-peanut-butter-cup morning to you, me lad!

Crisis averted.  Delighted children accomplished.  But, it was a near miss.

With pale skin, freckles, red hair, and 60% Irish blood flowing through my veins, I felt like I had a pretty good handle on how to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.  Boy, was I wrong.  Apparently, a proper St. Patrick’s Day celebration requires more than beer and fiddle music.

Are there any weird “tax day for children” rituals I need to know about?


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