The kids were playing in the afternoon sunshine and rushed inside, “Mommy, look what the leprechaun left us in the snowbank!” Thank you to whatever neighbor dropped this mini REAL glass message in a bottle with shamrocks in the yard, reinforcing our children’s belief in leprechauns, fairies, dragons, etc. They were so excited, and Greta suggested we make wishes with it. “I just knew the leprechauns would come again this year!”
Really? Geoff and I do not really speak about leprechauns with our kiddos, so this is a surprise to us.
Our friends JJ and Patrick were over for dinner, a celebration send off for my dear parents, Polly and Tony (aka Gram and Pops or Gram and Big Tone as neighborhood children have taken to calling him) as they are headed to Florida for a 2 month road trip. Carver begins the “one wish sharing” with saying Grace first as if that always happens immediately prior to sharing one’s hopes, dreams, wishes. He followed up with “Light sabers for all little boys and girls across the whole world.” Friend Patrick, a sweet and thoughtful little lad, understood he should say something important and mature given the audience of adults surrounding the table. “I wish for that every boy and girl in the world to be responsible.”
His mom glanced at me, that awesome combination look between pride and “don’t laugh at my kid” and, trying to hold back my giggle, I accidentally spit out some of the cucumber I had been nibbling on as the wish sharing continued. His face so serious and sincere and an only child, Patrick is sometimes the oldest 7 year old I know. Safety first at all times. He plays well with both of our children, and I can count on him to sound the alarm before anything gets too dangerous where my two are involved.
Greta’s turn. “I wish for DIAMONDS!”
I confirm with the other adults, “Did she just say diamonds?” At this moment, I blame my friend Ruthie for introducing sparkly lip gloss to her.
So then we pause to point out the word “Health” on the leprechaun’s lucky charm, filled with metallic green. I’m not sure what the mushroom is all about, and hope it’s not a reference to hallucinogens. We talk about how we wish for a safe road trip for Gram and Pop and health for all of our friends. We do not talk about the fact that I had earlier in the day been to a wake for one of my students whose father had just passed away from the cancer he had battled for the last few years. We do not talk about the young dad who died last week from a heroin overdose– or the father of a ninth grader who died the Friday of vacation of other health complications. These are the thoughts I keep to myself. This morning I remind Geoff, that God forbid anything should happen to me, to remember that the kids need to have at least 5 good snacks in their lunch box. An odd reminder of our own mortality. Geoff heads to Stowe for a four day work event tomorrow, and we wish safe travels for him (and I am secretly excited the travel season winds down at the end of April.)
I make a wish for the safe journey for my parents, that they of course will live forever.
Health. Carver is into rhyming words these days so he gets stuck on repeat, “Health, wealth, health, wealth, health, wealth.”
St. Patrick’s Day. Doubtful I will drink green beer or have a traditional corn beef or cabbage since my mom is abandoning me for Florida. But, in this moment, at our kitchen table, we are reminded of all the luck we appear to have in the chatterboxes seated across and next to and cuddled up in our laps–both grandparents and children alike!
Tonight we will write our wishes down and seal them in a bottle, or maybe a zip lock bag for a more realistic closure, and wish, wish, wish. Happy St. Patrick’s Day, friends! Stay safe!