On Being Irish

I just wanted to put out a special post-St. Patrick's Day post on this relatively novel new thing for me of celebrating an Irish holiday as an Irish-woman. OK, so in all honesty I am almost 100% pure-blooded German (German Lutheran at that) but 27 months ago I married into a great Irish (well, Scotch-Irish) family. On my wedding day, my new father-in-law stood up and toasted us, and then gave me a very special pin with the McLaughlin family crest and motto on it. Our family motto is "Fortus et Fidus." Strong and faithful. What an awesome family motto! So much better than, say, Weak and Miserable. Or, Deceitful and Deceptive. So Eric's family is really into family history, and they know that the McLaughlin clan had castles in Scotland AND Ireland, because they kept getting into feuds on one island, and would then move over to the other island/castle for a few decades to let things cool off. We have a McLaughlin family plaid blanket which Eric wears as a kilt on special occasions. :) Eric's family has pictures of themselves in front of the family castle. And Eric's oldest aunt has a special clan chief feather that she wears to the family reunions.

I love my family very much, but we don't really have a lot of German holidays or traditions. I would like to think that the Selle "clan" were important citizens of Germany, and did something like support Martin Luther during the Reformation, but for all I know they were just regular old peasants, who in the 1800s took a boat over to America and settled in nice little German communities in New York and Michigan. I suppose Germans can celebrate Oktoberfest. But that's not so much a holiday. And (big confession) I don't even like sauerkraut.

So this year for St. Patrick's Day, as a McLaughlin, I wore a green sweater and we had pesto (which granted is not cabbage and corned beef, but it is green) for dinner. OK, OK, pretty lame. But I would like to think that wherever we end up in the world, we can still celebrate these little cultural moments with our kids, and remind them of the wonderful family heritage we have on both sides of the family. And on every March 17th, just like Eric's mom used to do, we can put green food coloring in their morning Cheerios and milk.


Anonymous said...

Rachel, this is Cathye, I too married into Irish blood, and being Shar's sister I served my children spinach pasta, green jello and pistachio pudding for dinner last night(lime kool-aid too). They thought it was great! I had peanut butter toast and a glass of milk, it was a bit too green for me.