Though the winter has been long, it's hard to believe that March is here, thus beginning a holiday season of a different sort here in the Lyons Den. As February turned to March, my husband Des and I found that our monthly calendar sync was full of many more festivities than usual... there's the Brehon Law Society Dinner, Irelend-US Council Luncheon, Friendly Sons dinner (it has always struck me that these "friendly" sons are not so friendly after all -- if they were, I would think on occasion a "daughter" or two might be invited to partake in the fun!), and seemingly countless evenings where he "has to" meet someone "for just a pint."
March is a month of merriment that builds up to St. Patrick's Day and maintains a lively tone for the days and weeks after. It's a month where we all feel especially proud to be Irish and inspired to reflect upon our hertiage. My Mom was an O'Brien and my maiden name was O'Connor. I always loved having that "O" as part of my name. When we went to church on Sunday, our parish was full of O'Connors -- most of whom I was related to. What distinguished us from the others was the weekly greeting from our priest "Ah! It's the five Ks!" he would say as my dad Kevin, mom Katie, sister Kristin, brother Kevin and I shuffled in. Irish in name, looks and spirit, St. Patrick's Day at our house meant corned beef and cabbage and house full of grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins who seemed to be even more jolly than usual on March 17th.
Des is always proud to boast that his Dad was a "Cork man" and played hurling with the legendary Christie Ring. This husband of mine is addicted to Irish tea (although I've always thought it ironic he prefers Barry's to Lyons), adores a well poured pint of Guinness, looks dashing in his ages-old Irish knit sweater and can make an astonishingly good Irish Soda Bread.
As we raise our little Lyons Cubs (regrettably, Des turned down my suggestion to change his name to O'Lyons and I have to say, I really miss my "O" -- especially in the month of March!), we've started a few traditions of our own -- one of which was a highlight of this past weekend: the annual family outing to Rory Dolan's (http://www.rorydolans.com/) -- a legendary spot on the Yonkers/Bronx border that has a festive crowd, great music and does indeed pour the perfect pint.
Additionally, rather than scowl when they see us coming with our five tots six and under, they welcome us with open arms, oohing and aahing over Liam, Ciara, Kevin, Declan and Cormac. I suppose that's one of things that I'm most proud of in this season when "Proud to be Irish" buttons prevail; I am proud to come from a culture that always welcomes people with open arms and if there is just one tradition, one value that I pass on to our little brood, I hope this is it... in March and every other month of the year!
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