17 Mar Slice of Life: Luck of the Irish
“See you tomorrow…and don’t forget to wear green.”
When I first read those words I was filled with dread. I don’t have anything green and no time to find something. I began to come up with all the reasons I would use to explain why I did not wear green and then instead I began to remember.
My mother loved holidays. She had decorations, knick-knacks, jewelry and a specialty shirt for each occasion. She always made a big deal to celebrate with themed snacks and dinners. I realize so many of my memories are about holidays — the preparations and celebrations – big and small. It was just fun.
I decided to use my stress to find some magic – some luck of the Irish! I went into the attic and started to search through my mother’s boxes. I found her Irish claddagh ring, the button she always wore, the button I always wore and her shamrock turtleneck.
I remember the years she dyed my hair green, made green cupcakes, covered the house in leprechaun footprints to convince us they had paid a visit and cooked corn beef and cabbage for dinner. I am sure she was stressed and busy, but she always found the time to make each holiday magical.
I decided to slow down and remember. I went to see my mom today. I brought her shamrock turtleneck and her pin so she can wear them tomorrow. I also found her favorite holiday treat – Hostess Snoballs that are died to match the color of the holiday. I could only find white ones, but as we shared a Snoball, I told her all the stories she used to tell me about St. Patrick’s Day. I reminded her of all the fun we had over the years on St. Patrick’s Day.
In these remembered moments she is my mother once again. The fun-loving, thoughtful mother who always knew how to create joy through small gestures. The mother who never forgot the small things or the small moments. Some things may seem trivial at first, but it makes me realize the small things count. Kids remember the fun things we do, the stories we tell, and the traditions we have together.
So many teachers share with me their concern that school is no longer fun. In the rush to cover everything there is no time for little, fun traditions. I must admit when I first read the email from my colleague about wearing green I thought it was just a distraction that would take away from my time. The time I never have enough of.
In the end, I found green and I did everything on my to-do list. In fact I also found time to go to the store, visit my mother and make themed a dinner for my family. It makes me wonder if we do have enough time after all.
Do we have time to meet high-standards and have fun? Does it just feel like we don’t have enough time? Does the stress get in our way? Can we find simple ways to bring joy into our days? Are we actually more efficient and productive when we are happy?
Today was an important lesson for me. Sometimes it can all seem so overwhelming. The list is never ending, but it is the small moments that matter. It takes just as much time to be negative and stress as it does to be joyous and enjoy. When I took the time to find joy I also seemed to find time.
It is hard for me to believe my mother no longer remembers, but I am so thankful my colleague reminded me to not forget. I hope I never forget.