Our celebration of St. Patrick's Day was going well until this evening. Belle found gold on the playground at school with the rest of her class, the leprechaun had been busy and scattered pieces all over and she and I went to have corned beef and cabbage with her Bubee and Zayda while Charles went to go pick Boo up from a friend's house. While we were gone the leprechaun visited our house and the trap that the girls had set this morning didn't contain him so imagine our surprise when we got home from dinner. He had scattered Lucky Charms and green Mike and Ike's (or as we were calling them, leprechaun poop), scattered pieces of the girls wooden food, overturned the ottoman and knocked pillows onto the floor. Unfortunately the mess was so big, Belle thought someone had broken into the house and made the mess so she got really upset and wouldn't calm down for about 15 minutes. Even though I carried her all around the house and showed her that he had also left some goodies, she was inconsolable. Finally once Charles and Boo got home I got her to come back downstairs (but I had to carry her) and she was able to laugh at the mess and enjoy her surprises. It was certainly not the reaction we were expecting.
But it also reminded me of the struggle I have internally between not encouraging "fantasy" because I know how hard it is for children under the age of six to separate it from reality, hence why Montessori is reality based but at the same time the other side of me remembers how much I loved the wonder of Santa, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy as well as regular faeries (not Tinkerbell thank you) and as an only child with a very active imagination I often played in fantasy, I think it made my childhood that much better and I don't want to deprive my children of that same joy. But it is hard when you see a reaction like that, was she just tired and so it was harder to deal with, do we do this again next year and hope that it is better received?
Boo is getting to the age of questioning, we had the Santa discussion this past Christmas, a friend in her class said that he knew someone who had caught his Mom and Dad putting the presents under the tree. We simply told her that if she chooses not to believe it was fine but not to ruin the joy for Belle but in the end she decided she does still believe. I was about 10 when I figured out the truth, we have another year if that hold true for Boo as well. I don't remember being disappointed when I found out the truth, I just hope she isn't as well (and that we have lost all of our teeth by then so we don't have to ruin the Tooth Fairy dream as well!). I love the excitement in them when they find a treasure in a fairy trap or when the Tooth Fairy leaves them a note, I'm not sure I'm ready for them not to believe but I know the day will come.