Sunday, March 17, 2013
An Irish Lullaby
My mom was only partly Irish on one side of her family, but she loved Irish music. We grew up singing along with her Irish records in the days approaching St. Patrick's Day. On the 17th, she greeted us with a "Top o' the mornin' to you," and we all wore green to school. For some reason, instead of corned beef and cabbage, she simply served green foods for dinner. I tried to carry on these traditions with my own kids. They loved the green dinners, but despite the cassette tapes I made from my mom's old records, my kids never really got to know sweet Molly Malone or Clancy (who lowered the boom); they never fell asleep to an Irish lullaby. These days, my kids wear green on St. Patrick's Day (if they remember), and I usually get a "top o' the morning" text from at least one of them, but it's been a while since we've had pesto, broccoli, kiwi, Granny Smith apples, celery sticks, pickles, and 7-up with green ice cubes for dinner. I wonder sometimes what traditions my kids will carry on into their adult lives, what bits and pieces of their childhoods they will pass along to their own children. I hope they hold onto the things that matter most. But I know they can't hold onto everything; they need to make space to do things their own way and to create new traditions. And I'm looking forward to watching it all unfold.