The Luck of the Non-Irish


“But we’re not Irish!” I kept on repeating, but Kate could not be deterred.

I tried to make yesterday as special as possible for my non-Irish, elementary school aged kids. We made pancakes, I made sure their green t-shirts were washed and dried, I even packed a good luck treat in their lunches. Short of doing a river dance as they skipped out the door, I say that’s a pretty great St. Patty’s day, don’t you?

The kids came home elated. They had made shamrock crafts in school, painted rainbows and even had some chocolate gold coins thrown their way. Fabulous. St. Patrick’s Day: Check.

Then around 8:30 at night, Kate came to me and told me that her friend at school said there was a magical leprechaun that would grant wishes the night of St. Patrick’s day. All you had to do was ask. Kinda like Santa Claus, but instead of presents, wishes. Apparently, her friend once wished for a box of chocolate donuts and that sneaky leprechaun delivered. What more proof do we need?

Kate was sure it would work for her. After all, hadn’t she been a good little Irish girl all year long?

“But we’re not Irish!”

My statement fell on deaf ears. She told me she was quite certain that in the hodge podge melange of our Scandinavian make-up, there simply must be a drop of Irish blood running through her fair veins. She began to draw up a wish list. May I share?

  1. Chocolate Donuts. One Box. Powdered sugar also okay.
  2. Pretzels
  3. Diamonds
  4. Bars of gold
  5. Popularity
  6. Be rich
  7. See a real live leprechaun
  8. Meet Santa Clause

Now one thing that does course through those fair veins of hers is the gene that says “swing for the fences.” She gets that from both sides.

“But leprechauns are sneaky, Kate. Clever, tricky, conniving even. If he grants you even just one of those wishes, he’ll probably make you pay for it the rest of your life. Everybody knows never to accept gifts from a leprechaun. They’re like pint sized foxes.”

“But what’s the harm in a simple box of donuts?” she countered.

“What do you want to be rich for, anyways? We’re perfectly happy right now, aren’t we?”

“Yes, but then we could afford to live in a house with an indoor swimming pool, and be able to afford one of those big, plastic sandbox turtles we saw at the store the other day for Dean.” Hard to argue with that.

“But popularity can be a dangerous companion, Kate. Then people start thinking they are more important than they really are.”

“I will use my power for good.”

What I really wanted to say was this: “Look, it’s late at night, the baby is asleep, Dad’s out of town, and I cannot be a leprechaun tonight!! Not even the pretzel part!” But I didn’t. I let her set out her list on the couch and wait for morning. Let the gold coins fall where they may.

It was a somber, sober breakfast table this morning.

Tomorrow I’ll make pancakes.

2 responses »

  1. So true. I grew up in Idaho. 20 below 0 and snow until May was not unheard of. Now I live in St. George. And I have become such a wuss when it comes to the cold. 70 degrees and below-I have my heavy sweatshirt on.

    Btw-love your writing. It is witty, charming, and fun to read with insights that make me rethink about life. I found you through an article in the Deseret News-The wife of a football fan. My mom and I laughed so hard. I grew up with a die-hard brother and father.

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