A letter to the Leprechauns
I know we’ve never actually met, but I want to thank you for showing my family joy in the little moments of life. Your arrival each year seems to be at the point when we are all officially tired of winter and a bad case of the “blah’s” has set in. Having something fun and mysterious to brighten our days definitely provides a much needed boost.
I don’t know if word got back to you about the words I wrote last year, but some things never change. The universal truth about children who believe in leprechauns is that they all want to catch one. Whether because of folklore or family stories passed down through generations, there is something irresistibly enchanting about capturing one of you. I can only imagine that idea sends shivers down your little spines. Almost if by magic, the turning of the calendar page to the month of March creates in children an obsession with all things engineering and creative, if not wistfully enticing.
What you probably don’t know was how much I needed your visit to spread some fun and laughter. Time stands still for no one . . . especially our children who each day grow and mature into amazing young people. Perhaps it is because Reed was taken from us much too young or perhaps it is because my heart wants my children to stay little forever just like Peter Pan, I am simply not ready for one of them to launch into the world.
Strapped in with a warm blanket, I rode that roller coaster of emotions on the eve of your visit. Watching a movie which poignantly depicted a young man going away to college, I broke down and sobbed. While you were whispering in the wind before your stop at our home, my heart wrenched at the thought that someday soon that same scene will be one in which I play a part. The movie was delightfully entertaining, but I went to bed with a heavy heart.
As I lay sleepless in bed, my thoughts went back to a tender moment at Reed’s services when a mom, who had walked in my shoes, whispered as she hugged me. “I am thanking God that you have Cloie.” Those same words had they come from anyone else probably would not have been etched in my heart. Even so, at the time, I didn’t know how wise she really was. The last thoughts in my head, as my eyes succumbed to the weariness of the day, were her encouraging words.
I will admit to having a lingering thought of what would await me the next day because many a St. Patrick’s morn have been spent cleaning up the
mess adventure you have left for my children.
Because of the late hour of my slumber, I did not stir until I heard the wee one (as you call her) cry out, “Oh dear! What have they done with bacon!” Nothing will quite wake up a momma quicker than the thought of cured salt pork smeared all over her house. Her astonished cries were followed by tender, gentle cooing for her favorite porcine stuffy, Bacon. She cuddled and caressed him to make sure he wasn’t too traumatized. Bacon (with a capital B) – not bacon (the breakfast food) – was snuck away from her safe little arms where he spends all of his nights and stuffed inside the trap that had been meant to catch one of you. (Of course, you all know that.)
I know you might not believe this, since so far, my children’s track record has not been very welcoming or inviting to you three. The same compassion she lavished on her stuffed friend was utilized when she jumped out of her warm bed to get you a soft towel because she couldn’t bear the thought of one of you spending a night cold and wet on hard rocks.
Floating away on the morning air, the heaviness of my heart was lifted as I watched her comfort her beloved pig. She spent the next few minutes examining the traps (Shoe Mart and Diving for Gold) to see what went wrong and what she could possibly do to improve her chances of
capturing meeting you next year. You probably should have untied the harness, because now she has a pretty good idea exactly how big you are.
Thank you for always bringing us laughter. But mostly, thank you for reminding this momma to not worry about what tomorrow’s troubles will hold.
Today’s childhood is something to be savored.
Seamus, Finnegan, and O’Malley – wherever you are out in the world I thank you. Your “presence” in our lives is the perfect reminder to enjoy the moments that are within your grasp because that is where the magic really lies.
Until next year, my little Irish friends, be safe and enjoy that vacation in Barbados (0r wherever you end up). You deserve it!