Childhood Wonder

By: Jessica Aldred clover-445255__180

Within a matter of four weeks I will have worn fairy wings (twice), evaded gold coin laced traps and done the bunny hop. Between the Tooth Fairy, this new leprechaun situation, and the Easter Bunny, I think I’m having an identity crisis. I mean, I thoroughly enjoy the look on my kids’ faces on Easter morning, however, I keep wondering where I’m going to draw the line. I thought I had found that line this St. Patrick’s day, but as I found myself at the local pharmacy begging for gold/chocolate coins, I just wanted to slap myself.

Don’t get me wrong, I play my part in Christmas and Easter, and I’ll tip toe in and snatch those little baby teeth in the night, of course. However, now I find myself scheduling when and where to hide our Elf on Shelf for the better part of a month each year and this leprechaun business is just another thing on my to-do list. It’s not that I hadn’t heard of this new trend, it’s that I was hoping I could avoid feeding into yet another crazy holiday. However, when the children got word of leprechaun traps and gold coins tucked in their stinky little shoes, my plans began to crumble. I just couldn’t let them be the only kids to go to school with no tales of crazy green antics. I get it, it’s festive and fills their little minds with wonder and anticipation, but when is it enough? How many other holidays can we squeeze into the year? How many more times can I tip toe around my own house, praying I’m not busted? And what happens when they do discover my devious ways?

One of my most dreaded moments as a parent is when they find out that I’m the one facilitating their sugar plum dreams and they hate me for it. I figure I’ve got another year or so before my oldest catches on or an older kid at school spills the beans. By then my older boys will be 6 and 8 years old, but the baby will only be 2! How do I get them to keep the spirit of these annual celebrations alive for my little guy? Who knew that all these years of lying to my children to keep the spirit of the holidays alive would become so stressful? I certainly don’t want to be caught in a leprechaun trap, or worse, have my kids dreams of Christmas Eve ruined because I was too noisy dragging gifts down to the living room.

It’s not something I’m proud of, but it’s something they love. So, as I’m coloring my toilet water green and finger painting the very same walls I’ll wake up and scrub clean in the morning, I’ll do so with a smile on my face and a little sprinkle of the spirit in my heart. After all, I’d do just about anything to make them happy so picking all the marshmallows out of the Lucky Charms doesn’t seem like such a big deal at the end of the day. I’m interested to hear how other parents are keeping the spirit alive and also how you’ve handled the dreaded discovery process as they get older.

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