Friday, March 5, 2010


Eric has an optional assignment at school this year to make a Leprechaun Trap. Last year we had the same assignment for both boys, and it was fun. The leprechauns created some mischief in the classrooms, and showed signs of stealing various baits (gold! food! other things little minds thought of) but alas, no leprechauns were captured.

This year, my analytical Mark has his doubts.

Twice today he asked me "Mom, are leprechauns real or just a story." Twice I tried to cover without exactly lying to him. We participate in all of the mythical fun creatures of childhood. The tooth fairy leaves money for teeth lost when she doesn't forget (and she always comes the next night. Except when the teeth get misplaced and the kids completely forget. Not that that's happened.) The Easter Bunny brings baskets full of fun goodies, and we can't forget Santa - my personal favorite.

Yet, I'd never actually considered leprechauns until the school sent home that project. The first time Mark asked me I fumbled and bumbled and told him the legend and they hunt for gold, and Ireland, etc. The second time I asked him what he thought. He said "I think it's a story the teachers tell and they aren't real, but the teachers tell us that so we can have fun." Such a wise young boy. I didn't really answer that time because he dismissed me with a "I'll look it up on the computer later." Because that's what we do with questions when Mommy doesn't know the answer.

So, actually I misspoke, because he actually asked me a third time, and this time asked me to ask the computer because "the computer knows everything." So I looked it up and read to him the legend, making sure to say this was the story about leprechauns, careful not to outright lie to him. "Mom, that doesn't tell me if it's REAL." So I looked my 6 year old in the eye,and told him "Remember what you said about the teachers telling it to you so you can have fun?" "Yes," he answered flatly. "Well, you were right." I went on to explain that we should keep this our little secret so the others can still have fun and his answer was a very blunt "Well it's not fun anymore."

So, I still don't know if I should have lied to him or do what I did. I suppose I really never will. I dread the day he realizes Santa doesn't quite add up. It's bound to be soon. He asked an awful lot of questions last year.

While I'm sad that his belief in fairy tales is short lived, I'm pretty proud at his sense of logic, and reasoning, and ability to fit the pieces together. He's totally going to tell all his classmates too. I'm doomed!

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