A conversation in the van as we drive to the recycling center with our third–or fourth?–load of unpacked cardboard boxes.
ME: “So, tomorrow’s St. Patrick’s Day.”
RASCAL: “Yay! We get some candy in the morning!”
ME: “Well, no, not candy exactly.” (This is what I am planning for breakfast)
RASCAL: “But he’s coming in the night, right? He’s going to leave us candy.”
ME: “Um, no, sweetie. I think you’re confusing St. Patrick with St. Nicholas. Both nice guys, really.”
RASCAL: “But what does St. Patrick do?”
ME: (now here would have been the best opportunity to bring in a lesson on the communion of Saints, and say that St. Patrick prays for us on his feast day, but I blew it, ok? I was driving. ;)) “Well, it’s more of us celebrating HIS day.”
ME: (shaky laugh) “Well, we wear green, sing Irish songs, and eat Irish food.”
RASCAL: (displeased with that notion) “I’m still hoping for candy.”
Later I mentioned that we should all wear green on the morrow. Rascal, still probably miffed that St. Patrick doesn’t operate in the same manner as St. Nicholas, announced that he wouldn’t wear green. I suggested blue, having been told once by an Irish friend at college that blue was the color of Ireland. Still no go.
“Oh come now,” I said teasingly. “You don’t want your aunts to pinch you when they come over tomorrow, do you?”
Rascal looked at me with the most dumbfounded expression and said quietly: “Are you serious?”
“Yes. It’s silly, but sometimes people get pinched when they don’t wear green on St. Patrick’s Day.” (I remember the classroom guinea pig was pinched by a boy when I was in kindergarten. We all thought the boy cruel and heartless.)
Rascal was having none of this dubious St. Paddy’s Day tradition either. “Well you call Gramma and tell her to tell them that pinching is MEAN! We’re not s’posed to PINCH.”
And for the record, I did.