Today was St. Patrick's Day.
What, you didn't remember it either?
But you see, I am supposed to remember it because I just spent two years living in Northern Ireland, which isn't Ireland, but is still Northern Ireland. I've also spent the last six months missing it.
To be fair, St. Patrick's Day doesn't seem to be as big of a deal in Northern Ireland (or even Ireland) as it is here.
I know, crazy, right?
But I still love a good excuse to celebrate and turn everything my kids eat into weird colors.
I didn't feel too terribly nostalgic as I thought about my day and how there was no way I could squeeze anything extra into it because of my ill-planning. I decided that this was just going to have to be one pass for the family, and with full realization that my kids wouldn't even notice.
But then someone posted a picture of the full Irish Breakfast they were about to dig into on Facebook. At that point I knew my plans had to shift to make room for something that made today special. The funny thing about this holiday is that in America we all use it as an excuse to eat corned beef and cabbage - which I hope is a tradition that never ends as I love me a good dish of the stuff. However, I have yet to meet a person from Ireland or Northern Ireland that considers corned beef an important dish. Most I've met have never heard of it.
So tonight on my way home from work I picked up a few staples and our family indulged in our first Ulster Fry since leaving Northern Ireland. It started out as no big deal, but as we sat there passing fried potato bread and baked beans I felt a tiny bit of the sadness that sneaks up on me every once in awhile.
I love my life and think we are exactly where we are supposed to be at this moment. But sometimes I still panic that the life I lived there was just a distant memory. A dream.
Today I am thankful that my children still remember.
As we all sat around trying to conjure up the few Irish words we all have left I was surprised at what the boys could so easily recall. We went through our colors and phrases. We talked about Corrymeela and volunteers. We remembered together.
Until next time...