It started with just a simple gift – five little plastic bracelets, made of clear tubing filled with water and green sparkles, purchased at the dollar store for 50 cents apiece. Thirteen years ago this St. Patrick’s Day, I was caring for five little girls under the age of six. On my way to their house, I saw the green bracelets while shopping at a dollar store, and picked them up on a whim. The girls, of course, were thrilled with the gift, and became quite suddenly convinced that St. Patrick’s Day must be something very special. And never one to pass up on a little child-like wonder, I determined that it would be.
So I made up a story about a land in which princesses wore magical sparkle bracelets. And about how those magical bracelets could turn the whole world green. And while the wonder of the story still danced in their eyes, I bundled all of the girls up into coats and boots, and very ceremoniously placed the bracelets on their arms. We headed out the door for a walk, two six-year-olds and two four-year-olds holding hands, and one toddler in my arms. And within moments the older ones were shouting, “Look! We turned the grass green! And the trees green! And the leaves!” They were so entertained that we walked longer and farther than we ever had together, all of the older girls completely absorbed in the game, and the littlest one thoroughly entertained by the excitement of it all. At the end of that magical St. Patrick’s Day walk, one of the four years olds leaned back and smiled in satisfaction, “I never knew there was so much green in the whole wide world! I think this day is wonderful!”
And it was.
This year, I’m planning to take a little colour walk with my own munchkin on St. Patrick’s Day, and to look for all things green. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to find any magical green sparkle bracelets at the dollar store today. But if not, any little gift will do. A dollar store ring, a treasure bucket, a pair of mittens or a little green hat…Kids can find wonder in anything. And that’s the most magical thing of all…