Two day count down to our annual St. Patrick day party at school. My Irish luck kicked in, I found my leprechaun for this year tonight. At first when I called, he returned my call saying, “If you are calling me for the reason I think you are, I am NOT available.” Like all leprechauns, he has a heart of gold. As a former ESL teacher in our school, I also knew I could persuade him to help me make this day special for the wee people we teach.
So a few years back when I recruited him, I ordered him a leprechaun costume made in China and sold online on the cheap. I buried him in green blankets and dropped a trail of chocolate coins leading to him for the students to find. Only the little room I sequestered him in under all those blankets was rather warm and as he began to sweat the green felt began to wear off his costume and stick to his skin. He was nevertheless the perfect leprechaun. Counting my luck that he is such a good sport and still willing, with no full body costume this year.
It will just be another day for many, but for me the challenge is on. I have to turn my room into a green wonderland, where reality is checked at the door and the wonder and mystery of Irish folklore permeate every breath my students take. Tomorrow, once they have left me, the transformation will begin. The Irish tablecloths will cover all areas not already green, and the glitter and sparkle of my strands of Irish boas will reflect the leprechaun’s gold. Today it is but a pile on a desk as I survey what I have and make a checklist of what I need to look in my stock of Irish accroutements to complete the Irish feng shui, the veil of enchantment that should capture your heart when you cross the threshold into this alternate green space, where anything is possible
I made another stop at Ayers today to pick up the glitter studded shamrock sunglasses for prizes for the most festively dressed. I picked up a few extra strands of green beads, stickers, pencils, shamrock napkins and tablecloths. Never sure I have enough, always wind up with too much….I feel my pulse racing as I cruise the St. Patrick’s aisle, checking for new additions to my already hefty supply of green chotskies to pass out.
Stopped at the bakery after school today to put in my “big order” that I place every year. I will be picking up my dozens of green donuts, Irish soda bread, cookies, green brownies, whiskey cakes (for the adults in our lives), and green bread. Doing all this makes me feel like a kid. I feel the excitement mounting.
I line up the music and activities for Friday. A messenger of past celebrations races through my brain pinching me from time to time to say, “Wait, you forgot about…” So I sit here trying to remember what I forgot and telling myself it will all be okay. Accepting that enough is enough and the leprechauns will take care of whatever is missing is my task at hand.
Right about this time every year, I sigh and say, “This is too much, just roll is back, it’s exhausting to pull it all together,” but some drive from within pushes me through. And when I see the look on the students’ faces Friday, it is all more than worth it, and I know I will do it again next year. We all have our crazy fun indulgences, and this is a major one of mine. I am lucky that my family takes the plunge into my green space with me.