Thursday, March 17, 2011

Everyone's Irish Today!!

Guess you could have all placed bets on the fact that I'd manage to get a post up today?!?!? How does the wife of an Irishman named Patrick NOT make a fuss over the feast day of the patron saint of Ireland? But I do have moments when I angst over the attention paid to things Irish. While Patrick and I both share the same cultural and racial identity our daughters live a conundrum. Racially they are Guatemalan/Hispanic/Mayan and culturally they are American/Irish...not your everyday suburban inhabitant to say the least!

There's already a sector of Americans who find it hard to look at my daughters' faces and see "American". Some even visibly start when they hear them speak in their flat mid-western accents...they assume my girls will roll their R's and speak some variation of Spanglish?!?! So imagine the reactions when my two year old Julia would say in her mid-western/Irish accent, "Mommy I'm tirsty!" Or the explaining I had to do to Mari's kindergarten teacher on how very CORRECT she had been on her articles of clothing alphabet project when for the letter G the word GANSEY was written?!?! [Irish word for cardigan sweater used EXTENSIVELY in this house] Then there was the whole 'amadon' incident at the park one day.....well lets suffice it to say that the other mother was not smiling as my four year old piped up  "My Daddy says it is the same as a mu-or-on!" Hey, at least we no longer 'Hoover' our carpets or write with 'Biros' and he has even learned to put his mess in the 'basura' and 'comida'  on his plate!!!

We really do try to balance our three different worlds. As a matter of fact we try to seek out and embrace many different cultures! We've done Chinatown in San Francisco as well as Chicago. We've done Italian, German, and Greek summer festivals. Last Monday we met a group of families formed through international adoption at an Ethiopian restaurant!!!! .....but Irish still seems to predominate in our lives. So.....

We went to our local St. Patrick's Day parade last Saturday!

Our Irish knit GANSIES on and decked out in all things green,




and GREEN!!!

 Julia, Auntie Peggy, and myself cheered and waved flags...

While Alyssa, Mairead, and friend pretended they weren't interested in the candy being thrown....
and Mari and Deirdre marched with their dance school!...and Patrick went to work shaking his head at the antics.

It was a gusty COLD day and one little girl was worn to the bone.

Okay, the big girl was pretty wiped out as well!!!!
But as all good Irish women do.....

I had put the corned beef in the crock pot in the morning so frozen little American/Irish/Guatemalan girls could revive themselves!! I mean look at her savoring the delectable bite of that most enigmatic of St. Patrick's Day foods?!?!? Where else but in America is it no big deal for a child born in Guatemala to eat corned beef on Saturday with the Irish and injera and tibs on Monday with Ethiopians?

So while I may have a moment or two of angst over the favoritism that the Irish part of our triumvirate receives, today we will have a traditional Irish breakfast...
....modified a bit! Usually that plate would sport some fried tomatoes and black pudding, as well as the bangers[sausages], rashers[bacon], eggs, spuds, and beans. Tomatoes are not in season right now and not even the Irishman can stomach black pudding....aka BLOOD sausage, yuck AND gross!!

And for dinner we will fix the TRUE national dish of Ireland!!!

You see, corned beef while delicious is an American phenomenon! It was the closest thing that Irish immigrants could find to their comfort food....Bacon and Cabbage!! Not bacon as in the streaky, smoke cured stuff Americans eat for breakfast but a wet cured pork loin. Took me calling one of my Irish sister-in-laws for help the first time Patrick requested "A nice bit o'boilin' bacon with pandy." [FYI, 'pandy', 'boxty', and 'shpuds' would all be interchangeable words for mashed potatoes!!! ]
As is their custom, my girls will fight for the last banger in the morning and sniff over the simmering pot of Bacon and Cabbage after school clamoring for dinner to be served. They will plaster shamrock tattoos on their cheeks in the morning before school and wear green. They will run to the TV every time they hear Irish music to see "if we know any of the dancers" and they will chortle at their father's tales of growing up on a farm in Ireland. ....Heck, today is St. Patrick's Day and even little girls from Guatemala who live in Chicago are Irish today!!!!!!!!!!! 


  1. what wonderful traditions you have in your home!! My parents are hosting our St. patricks' party this year. Happy St. pat's Day!!

  2. I love it why not have a bit of everything in life, nobody should just enjoy one thing. I havne't even posted yet, I tried to get Maya's hair up into the shamrock, didn't work out quite as good as the heart did.