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Leprechauns? Fine. Two Dads? Too Far


I was driving my kids to their swimming lessons the other day when I listened, a bit amused and a bit horrified, as disagreement escalated into full-fledged debate over what they clearly considered a crucial point of contention: Do leprechauns wear brown boots or black?

They agreed that leprechauns always wear green clothes (of course) but, in addition to the boot issue, sparred on whether we can't see leprechauns because they're too small or because they're too quick.

"What's the truth, Mommy?" my older son asked.

Instead of answering with the truth truth, something on par with, "I have failed as a parent," I dodged:

"I don't know. I've never seen a leprechaun."

My kids learned about leprechauns, obviously, in school, the same place they learned about elves (on shelves) and the tooth fairy.


They haven't stopped talking, or arguing, about any of them, and I find myself marveling at how, in many places, it's perfectly acceptable for teachers to instruct on the existence of fake Christmas sweatshop employees but not on real life -- people who actually exist and events that actually took place.

It's not OK to teach history anymore (if it's something that makes anyone feel guilty or sad) and it's not acceptable to talk about anyone being gay or trans because, apparently, admitting that some men marry men is worse than vividly describing the plot of "Fifty Shades of Grey." Science is too controversial, and not even a teacher with a master's degree is allowed to question the beliefs of parents who think vaccines make you magnetic.

Perfectly fine in school, however, is asking kids how much the tooth fairy brought them for their first tooth. Thanks to that instructional topic, I now have a bone to pick with the parents of one of my son's classmates, who gave their child a $100 bill for losing a tooth.

"Does the tooth fairy always give $100?" my son asked in amazement.


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