I have had a crisis of conscience recently. I have had to ask myself, am I lying or simply being creative?
There have been 3 incidents which have sparked this debate in my mind.
1. St. Patrick's Day: When the kids entered the kitchen I informed them that the Leprechauns had been at it again this year. Pulling clear cups from the cabinet (carefully shielding the base of the cups with my hand), I poured in white milk, and voila! - The glass was magically filled with green milk! The same with the eggs I cracked into the bowl (high atop the counter). Eggs went in yellow but after some stirring, suddenly they, too, were green. Even the butter on the toast turned green. How? Why Leprechaun magic, of course! This was a tradition in my home when I was growing up...until the day I moved out.
2. The Easter bunny blunder: The kids spied the chocolate bunnies at the grocery store, informing me of which kind they hoped the Easter bunny would place in their baskets. I was ever so sly in getting the bulky packages into the cart and van. I even slid them into the third row after the kids were buckled securely, should they ask to help me unload the trunk (where the other groceries had been placed). Then I promptly forgot all about the chocolate surprises. The next day, as the kids climbed into their seats, what should they see in the the back, but chocolate bunnies! "Mom! Mom!" Parker exclaimed, his eyes wide as saucers. "Do you know what the Easter bunny left in the van for us?! Chocolate bunnies! Just like the ones we wanted!" Oh dear. I smiled and calmly replied, "Oh that silly bunny! He must be confused! Easter isn't for weeks. Here, hand them to me, and I'll put them on the kitchen table. We'll let him know they're here, and maybe when we come home, he'll have left some other candy in their place." Sheesh! We re-entered the house, and I shooed Parker out the door. As he skipped back to the van, I shoved those smirking little rabbits onto the highest shelf in the pantry and fished around for some kind of replacement. Thank heavens for left-over Halloween candy - Smarties!
3. Fairies: They frequent the Rausch household. The Sippy Cup Fairy was the first. She came when it was time for Parker to share his treasured bottles with all the babies of the world [read: his sister who would arrive in a few months] who really needed them. In return for the bag of bottles left on the porch, there was a bag of new sippy cups and some candy, all surrounded by glittery evidence the fairy had come.
The cleaning fairy visits nearly every day during nap. The tooth fairy will be here in no time.
I hadn't realized how pervasive these myths had become until I recently overheard Parker talking to his sister: "Maddie, when I turn four, I won't be using straw cups anymore. Then you can have all of my straw cups, and you can give all of your sippy cups to the Sippy Cup Fairy."
Should I be concerned? What happens when they figure it all out? Will they be angry, disenchanted, embittered toward their lying, er, creative mommy? I sure hope not. I don't know at what age I discovered the secret of the green food coloring on St. Patrick's Day, but I do know that while I rolled my eyes as a teenager when my mom fixed green eggs and ham, I was secretly pleased. I was glad she made the effort to carry on fun traditions, to keep the magic alive in our house. I hope my kids will feel the same way...