Many things remind me of my mom and one of them is St. Patrick’s Day. She was born in Dun Laoghaire, which is a small town just outside of Dublin. The Irish have a reputation for being drinkers and people who like to have a good time. My mother did not subscribe to this stereotype. She had seen too many of her family members descend into alcoholism and, while not a teetotaler she was a very occasional drinker. Another stereotype of the Irish is their no nonsense approach to parenting. Now we’re talking. I did not know this as a child but when I look back I see that indeed she was the typical Irish parent. She clearly loved us but she did not ever coddle us. We were not allowed to stay home from school unless we were throwing up or running a fever. I can remember on more than one occasion the school secretary calling home to tell my mom that I had indeed thrown up or that I was running a fever. Only then did I get the coveted go home pass. You fell down? Get back up. You’re tired? Go to bed. Her brand of parenting made me the resilient person I am today, which is a positive. The fact that I rarely call in sick unless I am vomiting or running a fever? Can’t take a mental health day? Maybe not so positive.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day!