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March 17, 2017

St. Patrick's Day - just another day!

I wanted to write something for St. Patrick's Day.  As usual the things I hope to get done are a low priority compared to the things that MUST get done.  Today was no exception.

I began the day (after I raced around getting my sleepy kids ready for school - note to self:  make them go to bed earlier) by jotting down what I was going to accomplish. 

All that was left of Irish soda bread tonight, but I'll be baking more tomorrow.
Bake Irish soda bread, deliver warm soda bread to Coach's work, attend a workout class wearing awesome shamrock workout pants, pay a mountain of bills, throw in at least one load of laundry, run up to Curly's school with Irish dancing gear so she could perform for her 3rd grade classmates, drop off tax paperwork to our accountant, watch Eddie's water polo game, arrange carpools for two birthday parties tomorrow because Coach is working and I will be at Eddie's water polo tournament for a chunk of the day, pick Mini up from a birthday party, and create a hilarious St. Patrick's Day post.  

Guess what got done?  Everything . . . except writing for my blog.
Shamrocks appeared smaller at the store . . . then I put them on!

I don't babysit for the munchkins on Friday.  It was slightly inconvenient that St. Pat's fell on my catch-all day.  Regular everyday stuff collided with being-Irish activities.  I admit that it was nice to not add 'dinner' to my list.  Coach wanted to make dinner.  I don't eat fish.  He planned to make salmon.  I don't enjoy the smell of fish.  At least he grilled it.  Still, I should've added to my list:  remove the fish smell from my house.

Coach and I have plans to go to a party tomorrow night, but the kids scoffed at me for not racing to  an Irish bar tonight.  I reminded them that we are Irish everyday.  Driving to Irish dancing practice three nights a week in addition to shuffling to Irish music lessons another night fulfills my quota for celebrating my Irish-ness. I am surrounded regularly by Irish tunes, Irish dance steps, and our offspring's Irish faces.  I consider that box checked. 

Now that it's after 9 pm, I'm finally sitting in front of my computer.  My creative juices might not cooperate.  I was grappling all day with which Irish angle I would approach - when I finally found the time.  Hard to know where to start . . .

There's my Irish upbringing.  I hated that my folks made me take Irish dance lessons for 8 years.  I danced like a newborn colt.  Being tall, my lack of control over my floppy legs interfered with my ability to rake in many medals.  I once asked my mom if I could quit.  She explained that I was the bonus kid. 

My folks paid $3 a piece for my sisters to dance each week.  The third dancer was a buck.  If I quit, our family would lose out on that incredible deal of a lifetime.  Somehow this made sense to me, and I accepted my role as the 'one-buck-bonus' dancer.  

My brother, Pat, was always hailed for his wonderful tin whistle playing.  I asked if I could take whistle lessons too.  I felt that I had a better chance of discovering my hidden talent if judges weren't concerned that I might kick them in the face. 

My parents explained that they were already paying for Pat to take lessons.  They suggested that I arrange for Pat to teach me.  Again with the bargain mentality.  After swallowing my older-sister pride, I attend a few scheduled lessons.  There was barely enough room in Pat's bedroom for me and his ego. 

Curly got a lot of mileage out of this t-shirt.
Those few afternoons ended with a heightened dislike of my brother and a few dents in my brand new tin whistle.  Being Irish wasn't as easy as it looked.

Years later I spent my junior year in Ireland.  What an experience . . . and the stories!  Endless.

Now, I have Irish dancers, who love it!  They wear leg tanner, wigs, and pricey dresses - which none of us love.  I had a t-shirt made for Curly when she was a toddler.  She wore the shirt to her older sibling's competitions.  Her pile of blond curls inspired me.  The t-shirt read:  'Reel dancers don't wear wigs.' 

Oh, how I miss the days of $1 lessons, real hair, and natural skin color.  I now pay my brother and his wife to teach my kids Irish music.  Dealing with his ego is still a struggle

So you see, lots of Irish angles.  Not enough time to tell them all tonight.  Stay tuned . . .  

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