Last Friday, my son came home from school spilling with stories about the "Lepercon" that his class almost caught (I've loved imagining what a Lepercon looks like). He told me how his class created a trap to catch the Leprechaun, and while they were at recess the Leprechaun was trapped, but was able to escape. His little footprints were sure evidence of his visit, along with a taunting message that said, "HeHeHe. You'll never catch me." And then my son said, "I can't wait to try and catch him tonight!" I grinned, but inside I shook my fist at his school.
You see, a Leprechaun never visited my house when I was growing up (and I'm starting to worry that every holiday will soon have a mysterious visitor that requires unique and creative efforts to appease them: Cupid, Uncle Sam, a pilgrim...) Judging by reports I've heard from other children, I'm not sure I want to invite a Leprechaun into my home either. From what I can gather, they craftily escape from traps, leave messes, and use your toilet without flushing leaving a toilet full of green water. But, my son was so excited, and so I agreed that we would indeed have to build a trap. But, we forgot all about it and my son was long asleep before I realized that we had not built a trap.
The next morning, miraculously on our dining room table sat a black bowl filled with gold-wrapped candy ontop of a paper that read, "Happy St. Patrick's Day", that was decorated with clover stickers and footprints. My son was very excited to find this when he woke up. And it was fun to see him so happy.
An hour later my son confronted me, "Mom? Did you set this up?" "Why would I do that?" I responded innocently. My son studied the sign, and went on to explain every inconsistency that it held in comparison to the day before. And there was no taunting message. But, the nail in the coffin was the footprints. They were all wrong. (Inside I shook my fist at his school again). And then he pressured me again. Now I was the one that was trapped. So I confessed. And my son's surprised face created immediate remorse within my heart. "Why?" he asked. "We forgot to build a trap." I responded. And somehow my son was satisfied. But a part of me mourned the death of a Leprechaun that I never wanted in the first place. Ironic, no?
Later that day I overheard my son bragging to a friend that the Leprechaun brought him candy. He mentioned the good fortune to me a couple more times that afternoon. I was a bit confused, but didn't press the issue. I assume that my son has concluded that I set up the bowl in order for the Leprechaun to leave us candy.
A St. Patrick's Day miracle, indeed.