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…