None of this is my fault. It’s genetic.
I am the daughter of Colleen O’Brien who is the daughter of a leprechaun named Thomas Patrick O’Brien. Yes, you read that right — my grandfather was a real leprechaun — and so is my Aunt Cate! That explains a lot about why I’m so wacky. And just for the record, I’m the most normal one of the clan!
It’s no surprise that in our family we celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day with more fanfare and green glitter than Christmas, Easter and the fourth of July, all rolled into one. We start getting the house decorated right after Christmas, hanging on for dear life to anything green that’s leftover and start adding to it each day. By the first of March, the house, garden and even the inside of the refrigerator reflects a thousand shades of what our family considers the one and only true color on the face of the planet.
And heaven forbid any of us should wear anything other than green. Simply unspeakable!
I know this sounds more certified crazy than wacky. But growing up in this boisterous tradition was all about embracing my Irish heritage — a tradition I carry on today. Less than a century ago, the average Irish immigrant was pretty low on the food chain in most people’s eyes. But the strong Irish people who immigrated to the USA were determined to work hard, and create a better life for themselves. They let go of the pain and poverty they left behind and clung to the good of their Celtic heritage. The whole wacky Saint Patrick’s Day celebration is unique to Irish Americans — a celebration that does not take place in Ireland with anywhere near the hoopla or blarney. For us, it’s a celebration of the roots that forged each generation to be all that they could be. I am proud to be Irish. Proud of the poverty pit that was Ireland at the turn of the century that my forefathers clawed themselves out of to create this opportunity I have to be an American. I am proud beyond words that my blood, which runs red, white and blue, takes on that heavenly, neon green glow this time of year.
Bottom line, when it comes to family, I got the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. So from the bottom of my Wacky heart, I invite you to celebrate it with me and wish you the greenest Saint Patrick’s Day ever. May it be filled with love, loyalty and undying friendship.