When my kids were little, I used to make them green milk to drink on St Patrick's Day. I would have them come to the counter & watch me as I poured the white milk into the clear glasses & say "Kiss Me I'm Irish" as it magically turned green.
Oh how they loved that. I told them right from the start that the milk would only turn green once a year, on St Patrick's Day, and that ONLY mommies who had Irish sprinkled in their genes could do this kind of magic.
So every year I would razzle dazzle them with my skill. As time passed, the older one became quite certain that a trick was being played. By the time he was 7-8, he knew that food coloring was involved somehow, but he could never quite figure it out. The glass was clear, he never saw me w the coloring, and yet the milk still changed colors.
Even when he had long given up on the magic, he still showed up for the production & drank his glass with his little sister. That little sister is nothing if not a dreamer, so it came as no surprise that she still believed in the Kiss Me I'm Irish magic as the double digits drew near.
Last year, when I thought about one last round for old time's sake, I discovered that we were out of food coloring (only the green, that daughter had used it all for cupcakes at Christmas!) I realized our tradition had probably run its course. Afterall, my son was 15 & my daughter 13 then.
I did not rush out to buy more & try to cling so tightly to the tradition. That is what I would have done before so many other things had changed. I decided to just go with it & see what happened.
Instead, we talked about the fun we'd had with it, the secrets to the magic (put the drops into the glass the night before so they have time to dry...that way you can tip it over & it doesn't spill out & you don't get caught green-handed!!), memories from my childhood when we celebrated with a big Boiled dinner & went to the Parade in Southie. We talked about how most people in this part of the country do not even acknowledge this day. And that they both thought they might like to keep this little tradition with them into their futures.
Sitting here tonight, typing these words, I realize that those are the really magic moments, and that is the best kind of mommy magic there could ever be!