Wednesday, March 18, 2015

St. Patrick's Day

Minus 1 sibling - 2012
St. Patrick's Day 2012
St. Patrick's Day was always sort of a big deal at my house. My German/Swiss mother really took her job of raising five Fitzpatrick kids seriously and basically became more Irish than the rest of us. Every year on March 17 we were awoken by the songs of The Irish Rovers and The Dubliners sang to us as we ate green oatmeal or toast sprinkled with green sugar. By dinnertime our house was filled with the smell of Irish Soda Bread and the wreak of corned beef and cabbage. There was dancing, dessert, Guinness, and the viewing of an Irish film (Secret of Roan Inish was my personal favorite, but we often switched it up with Darby O'Gill and the Little People or Angela's Ashes). Even when I went away to college I'd get care packages every year filled with shamrock stickers, treats, and a note from my mom written in her best brogue. My college roommates still ask me to send along my mom's Paddy's Day greetings because...they're just the best.

My love of Ireland exponentially increased when I studied abroad in Dublin and did things like cartwheel in front of a castle, get my nose pierced, and drunkenly Riverdance in a pub in front of the whole program, including my professor who mentioned it in class the next day. But, maybe more on that trip another time.
One of the most exciting {and sometimes frustrating} things about parenting is establishing new traditions and deciding which ones from your own childhood you want to continue. My family's St. Patrick's Day traditions are filed under "continue," which Jason agreed to long ago, while I agreed to establish an annual MLB Allstar Game party because marriage is about blending our lives and interests and aren't we the models of compromise?

So yesterday my kids woke up and were immediately roped into a dance party in the kitchen and were pretty amused by me singing about pigs making "lovely household friends" and "whack fol the daddy-o." They ate green pancakes, helped me bake Irish soda bread, listened to me talk about a cool country called Ireland, and asked if leprechauns are real.

When they're older we'll add a movie after dinner {we'll start with my old favorites, but someday add The Wind that Shakes the Barley and Once to the rotation}. Someday I may even make corned beef and cabbage {we had steak this year since no one else would come near a pot of stew in this house} and they'll hear stories about my visit to Ireland and how their Swiss grandmother helped instill a love of this Irish holiday in me that I hope they'll want to pass down to their kids, too.


  1. Top of the mornin to my once wee ones! Also, I was sort of hoping for the craic photo, but maybe that is not blog-worthy or appropriate. No worries, because it is seared into my mind's eye ;-P

    1. Another day, another post. When I decide the world is ready for that. 'Cept it's on Facebook somewhere, so...

  2. Having the kids wake up and fall asleep to cheery songs about drunkenness, war, shipwrecks and betrayal makes for the best holiday. Thanks for this tribute to family traditions.