Monday, March 14, 2016

A Mother's Love Letter to St. Patrick's Day

Dear St. Patrick's Day,

You're again right around the corner and I just want to tell you candidly that I love you.

I'm not sure that I've ever professed my real feelings for you so publicly before, and I can't stand another year of you not knowing how much you mean to me.

This time of year, most of us are still slogging through slush and snow to pick up our kids at school. We're going stir-crazy and yelling too much.

You know, St. Patrick's Day, that we moms been through a lot in the past few months. Your close cousins, Christmas and New Years, haven't been altogether kind to us.

We spent the darkest months of the year baking cookies and shopping and staying up late addressing cards and planning parties and doing more shopping and then wrapping it all, while our kids were home from school bouncing off the walls and each other due to cabin fever and binging on sugar (our fault) and new toys (mostly our fault, too.)

Of course our intent was to simplify this year, but you know how it goes.

Once our kids returned to school we took down the Christmas tree and began to put our houses and our lives back together, only to be hit with the one-two punch of Valentine's Day.

For mothers, Valentine's Day means hours of supervising the addressing of class valentines by your kids, which is the elementary school equivalent of wiping a toddler's nose for hours over three to five consecutive afternoons.

But then it's over.

It's over, and the sun comes out, because I know that the next big thing to come around, beautiful St. Patrick's Day, is you.

You. With little to no expectations of me.

You. With no elaborate fantastical creatures on a shelf that I need to position in a creative new way every night for an eternity (we don't do this, by the way, we just feel guilty about it.)

You, who require no gifts to be bought, no celebrations to be planned, and no cards to be purchased, made, or signed.

You're everything a holiday should be.

I can finally be "the fun mom," and all I have to do is put a few drops of green coloring into the kids' breakfast in the morning.

My only real responsibility on March 17th is to remind everyone to wear something green, and even that's kind of optional.

I kiss the kids goodbye, they go do some shamrock projects at school, and we're done celebrating the best holiday of the whole year. Maybe we go see a St. Patrick's Day parade. Or maybe we stay home and go to bed early, and no one cares.

You get me, St. Patrick's Day. You really do. I can't wait to see you again.

Love,
A Mother
A Mother's Love Letter to St. Patrick's Day -- St. Patrick's Day, you know you're my favorite holiday, don't you? As a mom, I'm not responsible for diddly squat on March 17th. {posted @ Unremarkable Files}


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29 comments:

  1. Put that way it is a lovely holiday! Though a couple of years ago the young moms in the neighborhood were talking about how they couldn't fine the gold coins in the stores anywhere. Evidently you are supposed to scatter them around your yard. I can't remember if they were from the lepracauns or for the little green creatures. Sounds very elf on the shelf doesn't it?

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  2. AuntSue
    Love St Patrick's Day, but I am Irish. Elf on the shelf!? When I was growing up, our elf sat on the curtain rod in the living room. Just sat. We knew that whatever he saw would be reported to Santa, so we were GOOD! Parents! Stop making it so hard.

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    1. We are our own worst enemies. I imagine that your kind of elf struck more fear than amusement into the hearts of children.

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  3. I did not know where you were going to go with this - but that was brilliant! (And hey, if I know you, you're going to lay of the St. Patty's iced whiskey coffees too?)

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    1. You're right, although if you do welcome the excuse to drink them I suppose that's just another reason to love St. Patrick's Day, too!

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  4. I never knew how much I liked st Patrick's day until I read this. It's very true. Every other holiday almost seems like a chore when you're a mom. Especially Valentine's Day because it's not like you get to do much celebrating of your own. Every baby sitter in town is already taken or has a date. And you have crazy amounts of crafting and decorating you have to do. So I'm now really happy for st Patrick's day in the middle of valentines and Easter.

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    1. It's the best. It's the last holiday that hasn't been turned into a list of things a mile long for me to do, and I plan to enjoy it. By doing nothing.

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  5. My kids' school does a big corned beef and cabbage fundraiser. It is a lot of work and all us loving, Catholic moms all want to strangle each other just a tiny bit by the time it all over, so I will save my love letter for some other day. Oh, and my tween thinks she needs new shamrock socks because it would be totally lame to wear the SAME pair she wore last year! They get to wear fancy socks to school about three times a year so it's a big deal.

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  6. Amen, sister. Happy St. Patrick's Day!

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  7. I love your thought process on this Jenny! Are your families of Irish descent? It tends to be the case in the UK that only really people of Irish descent celebrate St Patrick's Day (well and probably students who are more than happy to drink green beer and Guinness in the name of a random celebration!). Funny how it's so huge over there (but not huge enough to warrant your involvement - amen to that! :-) ) #thetruthabout

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    1. No appreciable amounts of Irish for me. (I was wondering if they celebrated in the UK - I Googled it and there's a parade in London, at least!) In the U.S. it's just a thing that everyone is more or less aware of, I think, regardless of their ancestry.

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    2. Well you know what the weirdest thing is about St Patricks Day in England? It is celebrated about 100 times more across the board than St George's Day (ie the Patron Saint of England). I'm not quite sure why this is but I read that it might be because of historical religious differences between the two nations - ie, once Henry VIII binned off Catholicism and made us all protestants we couldn't really be bothered with Saints and all that shizzle. On the contrary all the Irish people in England still blooming love a Saint and are *very* patriotic and also love a good 'craic'. There is also the theory that us English folks are 'too nervous' to celebrate St George's Day because we don't want to be accused of being racists. Unfortunately the George Flag (white background, red cross) has been used by the far right - neo nazi types. England - pretty bad reputation across the world I guess. :-(

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  8. Yes, sometimes we forget to wear green. And I rarely do green foods. It's just another day for us. Like I said in my Hey, It's Okay Tuesday post, we might just order pizza, ha.

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  9. I love you so much, Jenny! My sole concession to the day is wearing shamrock earrings. It's a tough job, but somebody's gotta do it.

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  10. Oh Jenny, you know from my posts I do up the St. Patrick's Day thing from the crack of dawn till the sun is long gone, and we don't have a lick of Irish; but I'm telling you, this is the funniest post EVER! I shared it on my FB and I hope all my readers run over here to read this one. KUDDOS girl and keep up the great work. Love it!

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    1. Oh, yes, I love that you do such fun stuff! I also love that St. Patty's Day is somehow that sweet spot where you CAN do all that great stuff, but I don't HAVE to. It really is the last great "do what you want to" holiday!

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  11. I love this! There are so many expectations on holidays...St. Patty's day is pretty de-pressurized!

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  12. My sister lives in Dublin - I guess St. Patty is craziest there, wish I were there..

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    1. Now that would be something to see. Don't the dye the river green?

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  13. You do even more than I do Jenny. Lol all I do is put green food coloring in the toilets. Boom, St Patrick's DAY DONE. ;)
    But then again, seems a shame to turn down an excuse to buy chocolate. Hmm.
    Thanks for the reminder though, I almost forgot it was coming.

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    1. Oh, wow! You must have boys. Forget about their breakfast, my kids would pick green toilet water over green eggs any day!

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    2. LOL. Actually I only have one. But started it with the oldest (The boy) when he was young. I used to work in a daycare and we did it every year. It was a big hit. Before I did it at the daycare St Patrick's Day barely even popped up on my radar. lol

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  14. Reading this I'm very relieved we don't really 'do' events in the UK in this way. For Valentines day the kids might make me and their dad (and sometimes each other) a card but there's no sending them to everyone in class! Halloween barely exists, and I don't even know when st patrick's day is let alone do anything green on that day. Christmas is big but I love Christmas! (thought I've yet to succumb to Elf on a flippin' shelf) With so much going on I'm not surprised this day gets your vote though!

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    1. I'm surprised that Pinterest hasn't yet infiltrated your society and crumbled it to the ground like it has ours...

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  15. Haha! I've never cared one way or the other about St. Patrick's Day before, but you just made it my favorite holiday.

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  16. You haven't experienced the "Leprechaun Trap" assignment yet, have you? I think the instructions are located in the same level of He** as class Valentine's cards.

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    1. If it comes to that, I'm homeschooling.

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