On the evening of March 16th, when Kate was eight or nine, she greeted me when I returned home from work around 8 pm. “Guess what,” she cried. “I’ve put my boots under my bed so the leprechaun will leave me treats.” What ho? This was a new one in my world. “Someone at school told me about it. Isn’t that great?”
I hesitated just a moment before replying, “Yes, how fun is that?” I was feeling for the hard working leprechaun who had so much to do and might not have enough treats in his coffers to fill the boots of so many children. Tall boots to fill, that.
She went to bed happily while I considered the options.
There were no more outings scheduled for the evening and I scanned our cabinets. We often bake and have homemade cookies around, but not then. I found an item that I have not bought before or since: Drake’s coffee cake packages. There was one left and I snuck it into Kate’s boot, lest the leprechaun suffer some untoward delay. And then I did something completely uncharacteristic of me. I left the empty box in the cupboard.
I am a dedicated and prompt recycler. When a box of something is finished, I crush and add to the recycle bin. Nothing lingers unattended in the kitchen, as the clutter which is already loud threatens to overtake if I don’t feed the recycle bins promptly. I’m not sure exactly what my thinking was here.
The next morning Kate arose and came downstairs holding the coffee cakes triumphantly. “Look what the leprechaun brought, “ she crowed. A cloud passed over her face and she walked very deliberately to the cabinet and stretched onto her tippytoes to reach the fated box. I cringed as she opened it and looked inside.
“The leprechaun took our Drake’s cakes.” she sounded perplexed. I opened my mouth to protest and offer an alternative solution…(Dad ate it last night…the dog pushed a chair over and made his way into the box…a hardy herd of ants carted it off together..) An instant later her face brightened and she declared, “What a smart leprechaun he is. He had not been expecting me to put my boots under the bed. It’s the first time I ever did that so he just used what was here.” Satisfied and pleased, she bounced off to get ready for school.
I sat in awe of her creativity and conviction in her beliefs. Once again I am shown how we create our reality. Certainly I was relieved that it met her expectations. I was grateful that she orchestrated this whole event and established a new tradition. I will be eager to see what lands in my boots on March 17.