A mom sidled up to me at a baby shower yesterday. “So, tomorrow’s a big day for you guys!” she said.
“Totally,” I said, sipping my peach nectar, hoping she’d enlighten me a little more as to just what we were both talking about.
“With Seamus and all,” she added, seeing my confusion.
“With it being St. Patrick’s Day tomorrow,” she said slowly, wondering if I was possibly having some sort of brain malfunction right there in the dining room.
I seriously had no idea today was going to be March 17th until that moment.
“So what do you guys do?” she asked.
“Uh. Not much,” I said. “We’re not really that into it.”
“Into being IRISH?” she said. “But your kids’ names…”
“No, we like being Irish,” I said. “It’s just that St. Patrick’s Day… doesn’t have that much to do with it.”
And really, does it? I could have kept my kids out of school today– as I write this, I sit about two miles from the largest St. Patrick’s Day parade in the world, happening right now.
But it is about the least child-friendly place I can imagine (and I’m saying that freely admitting I’ve never been there– please no hate mail). Parade day is more about being rip-roaring drunk than being Irish, if you get my drift. In fact, I’m going to go on record: a lei is not traditionally Gaelic, either, and so that man in the picture at left with the green ‘fro may not even be Irish. Except every March 17th.
Still, I feel the pressure to step up and do something today- after all it was just last week that I was publicly shamed by my family’s lack of culturally significant object. I managed to get Seamus out the door in a green T-shirt this morning (totally relieved he owned one), and Maggie wore some shamrock ponytail holders I scrounged up from the bottom of a shoebox of hair accoutrements. But that hardly seems sufficient. I could just buy some shamrock cupcakes or something, but I already hate how St. Valentine’s Day has become a week-long parade of candy and baked goods, and if it’s Gaelic traditions I’m after I don’t think St. Patrick ever ate a cupcake.
Besides the wearing o’ the green, Wikipedia‘s traditional St. Patrick’s Day suggestions are church-going (whoops) and a 24-hour ban-lift on whatever you gave up for Lent. OK, so everybody can have some chocolate. But that doesn’t seem very culturally significant either.
Anyone do anything fun with their kids for St. Patrick’s Day? I want to have a better answer (as the mother of Connor, Seamus, and Maggie) for next year…
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