Yesterday was St. Patrick’s Day. We are Latinos. This holiday is not a big celebration in our house. When I was growing up the only thing we did to celebrate this holiday was wear something green so that we wouldn’t get pinched at school. For some reason, Diego had it in his head that St. Patrick’s Day is a big deal. Last year, after picking him up from kindergarten he excitedly told me that he couldn’t wait to get home to see what the leprechauns had left him. I had never heard of this before, but he told me that in school he learned about leprechauns and their magic. I quickly called Juan on my cell phone and discreetly told him about Diego’s belief. I asked him to stop and buy something “lepruchanish” on his way home and beat us there. I breathed a huge sigh of relief when I saw Juan’s car in driveway. Diego made a mad dash out of the car and went inside. He discovered some green candy and a box of Lucky Charms, and was delighted. Whew!
Fast forward to his year. It has been a very stressful month (hence, no blogging). I was surprised to learn it was already St. Patrick’s day. Luckily, Diego’s school uniform polos are green, so getting ready for the big day was easy. On my way home from work I had to stop at the drug store. While checking out I remembered to pick up a couple of boxes of Lucky Charms. When I got home I presented the kids their leprechaun gift. They were pleasantly surprised and proceeded to open the box and begin snacking on them before I could finish preparing my Irish/Mexican dinner, corned beef tacos. After dinner was done, the dishes washed and Diego ready for bed, he came to me with tears welling up in his eyes.
“Mommy, the leprechauns didn’t come. I left them clover and they didn’t bring me anything.”
“What?” I asked. He took me to his room and there in the corner, on the floor was a cup filled with water and a few weeds that could be mistaken for clover.
I was stunned. I did not know what to do. In a panic, I reassured him that the leprechauns hadn’t finished with their day yet and maybe they would come after he went to sleep. I told him to put the clover outside so they could find it. He seemed convinced,even though he thought it might be better if he left it inside and he stayed awake to meet them.
After he fell asleep I went to the grocery store and roamed the aisles looking for something “lepruchanish.” Damn. Chocolate bunnies and Easter baskets already filled the aisles. Finally, I found a little green stuffed bear in the floral department. I added some green Powerade and green sour apple candies. I asked the grocery clerk for some gold dollar coins and when I got home I polished the coins with my jewelry cleaner. They looked like newly minted bullion, fit for a leprechaun! I put it all together in a leftover green gift bag and left it outside with a note, next to his clover.
This morning, Diego was up earlier than usual and ran outside to see if the leprechaun had come. He was thrilled! His 13 year-old sister rolled her eyes and looked at me skeptically. Now, maybe I was just played by a 6 year-old, but maybe not. How long until he starts rolling his eyes and becomes an unbeliver? I don’t think I have much longer until he stops believing in the magic. So, for now, yes Diego there is a leprechaun.