Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Holiday Traditions

How necessary is it that I, as a mother, participate in/encourage my children's desire for holiday traditions? We already have quite a few. We do the whole Santa thing - stockings, leaving milk and cookies, writing a note, listening to the bell from "Santa's sleigh" to see if we really, truly, beleive. (Thanks Polar Express)We do an Easter egg hunt, and the Easter bunny leaves cutout paper footprints from the kids' rooms to the baskets in the morning. The tooth fairy visits and leaves not only money, but a sprinkling of fairy dust, and sometimes a note, depending on the difficulty of losing the tooth. We make Valentine's for each other, and the kids sign their names to the store-bought Batman and Scooby kid valentines. Really, there's quite enough to fill our days with nostalgic joy and fond memories.
So why do I feel so much guilt about refusing to enter in to Scooby's latest fascination/obsession: St. Patrick's Day.
Wait, you say, St. Patrick's Day is over. Shouldn't we already be thinking ahead to Easter? But no, St. Patrick's Day cannot yet be truly over, as we haven't been visited by a leprechaun.
Scooby is very adept at craft making. It's just about his favorite thing to do. So for St. Paddy's Day, he made a leprechaun house out of paper and tape, and put it outside. He also made a trap - digging a hole and covering it over with leaves - to catch the leprechaun (I guess if the house wasn't a sufficiant lure)He fully expected to find SOMETHING in either the trap, or the house on the morning of the 17th. Perhaps a leprechaun. Perhaps a pot of gold. Or at least a ribbon. (Why a ribbon? Your guess is as good as mine!) But there was nothing. Why? Because me, BAD MOMMY, didn't play along and provide anything. Really, I thought. We do enough. And he'll forget about it soon enough. Wrong! Today, March 21st, 4 days after St. Patrick's Day, he went outside before catching the bus to put a cookie in the house. Maybe THAT would lure the little green folk.
So, do I just keep waiting for him to refocus on the next holiday, or do I give in and go stick a ribbon in the paper house? Which is more important? Limits, or encouraging imagination and fantasy?


Anonymous said...

Encourage imagination and fantasy.

I've never forgotten either the scavenger hunt you organized or the "fairie houses" you built in a tree in the front yard and then somewhere behind the fence/pool.

I must've been very young, because the details are very fuzzy. But 20 odd years later, I'm remembering how cool and fun and different and special it was.

/Little Brother's $0.02

M. said...

This almost made me cry as I pictured him running out and looking. Do you know how fast he will grow up? Get out in that yard with something!!! A paper shamrock with a star on it/ Fairy dust, a coin?
a note saying he was stuck in someone else's house and that is why he is late! After all, there is some Irish blood in you don't forget!

twisted sister said...

Neither. If he really has an imagination, eventually he'll convince himself that he DID catch a leprechaun and he'll tell you the whole story. Sticking a ribbon in the paper house (has it not rained?) will only crimp his creativity, and we can't have that. Besides, he already looks like a leprechaun as it is.