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It’s St. Patrick’s Day today, which is a fun day in my family. With our minor Irish background (my grandmother on my mother’s side was born Emma Lou O’Malley), we always take St. Patrick’s Day seriously. This year it is green shirts for everyone (with cute sayings), Shepherd’s Pie, and green fluff for dessert. And yet, it feels like something is missing.
What is missing for me is that my kids do not really even know what St. Patrick’s Day is about. They don’t know all of the Irish songs that I learned from my grandmother when I was a kid. They don’t know anything about their true heritage. In all honesty, they are really only 1/8 Irish. But I don’ t even know for sure what the other 7/8 of them is. So with their blue eyes and fair skin, we just go with “Irish.”
It’s sad to me that my kids do not truly have a “heritage.” They (as well as my husband and I) are truly “mutts” when it comes to ancestry. No one in either of our families celebrates anything related to the countries from which our ancestors came. In part that’s our own fault. In part, it’s just the way each generation passes and melts into another.
On the plus side, we love to celebrate every holiday that comes along. So even if I weren’t 1/4 Irish, I would still be wearing my “Kiss My Irish” shirt today and trying to find fun Irish foods. I don’t think anyone in my family even speaks Spanish and yet we will have margaritas and tacos on Cinco de Mayo. And don’t get me started on Oktoberfest…
Now wouldn’t it be funny if I were more Irish than all the rest of you? My ancestors from the North West of Spain were Celtic and lived by one of the portals of Atlantis!! I went to Irish Catholic schools and understood brogue as a child.
St Patrick was famous for spreading Christianity through a highly pagan Ireland. It is too bad, I think a lot of Irish magic was lost with that conversion.
Judi Moore says
Dave has a good chunk of the Malarky in him – he was quite the red-headed Irishman when I met him. My parents always said we were Irish, but no one ever explained how and all my grandparents seemed to be German (great food!).
I finally stopped and figured out how to make corned beef and cabbage for Dave because he loves it so, and we have green fluff at Thanksgiving for some strange reason no one can remember.
So, what was my point? Can’t remember. But even though we were so aware of today’s significance, even said “Happy St Patty’s Day” at breakfast, I still forgot to wear green and a little old lady came up to me at the grocery store and pinched me 🙂
I was told once that the wearing of the green was just a tiny salute to the faeries and if you wore too much, they would fall in love with you and steal you away. So just a touch of the Irish for me!
I wish I knew more about Irish heritage.. we’re not green beer drinkers, so wearing green is the biggest part of our festiveness. However, Roaming the grocery store over the weekend I noticed an unusually high volume of fresh cabbage… made me stop and think I’d like to try a new dish – then I thought of sour crout which reminded me of kielbasa and i got hungry and side tracked. So what is green fluff?
I think its wonderful you know some of your history and even if you can’t all the time, it’s nice to be able to embrace it even for a little while.