Monday, March 17, 2008

St. Paddy's Day Scars

As a mother, you try your best to raise your children with love and understanding, shielding them from the darts and arrows of the world.

Invariably, you will fail.

It's just a part of life; you can't shield your kids from everything. Indeed, when it comes down to it, you wouldn't want to shield them from everything, or they'll never learn life lessons. However, no matter how hard you try, you'll end up scarring the little guys in ways you never predicted.

Case in point:

Three years ago, I sent my kindergartener off for another day of school. Off she went, merrily waving to me as she hopped out of the minivan and trotted along the sidewalk into the school.

Two and a half hours later, she came home in tears. In short order, I was informed that it was all my fault.

You see, it was St. Patrick's Day, and I had neglected to be a good mommy. I hadn't sent my little girl to school in green. Apparently, several of the boys in her class thought that fact was great fun and spent the entire school day (thank heavens it was just 1/2-day kindergarten) pinching her. Whether it was at recess, at her desk, or on the carpet when the teacher read stories, all day long, she was pinched.

By the time she got home, the poor girl was traumatized. She fell apart in my arms, relating the horrendous details of her school day.

"Mom, why didn't you make sure I wore green?!"

I've since made a bigger effort on St. Patrick's Day--a holiday I frankly care nothing about. (Today I'm wearing a bright RED shirt . . .) The one and only way I celebrate the day is making sure my kids go off to school with something green. It's probably more of a self-defense measure than anything else.

Today that included my junior high schooler. I had him change his black shirt for a green one. (After all, you never know if those pinching bullies in kindergarten grew up to be junior high schoolers and might decide to pick on a seventh grader who lacks the proper color.)

I even made sure my preschooler had green on today, just in case there was a boy in her class who might try to torture her with the pinching tradition. I certainly didn't want to have another child scarred by the holiday.

So this morning as I'm putting a dot of super glue on a St. Paddy's Day bracelet for my third grader to wear (made with a kit sent by Grandma Lyon for that very purpose), she pipes up with, "Hey, Mom, remember how in kindergarten I didn't wear any green and those boys pinched me all day? Man, that was awful."

Yeah, honey. I remember.

But I was so hoping you didn't anymore!

Oh, well. There's always Easter.


Don said...

I suspect the reason you don't care about St. Patrick's Day is that you don't have any good food associations .

Try Irish Soda Bread - it's our family's one St. Patty's day tradition.

Anonymous said...

A couple of years ago, my SIL decided that St Patrick's day was her special holiday, just to be weird!

I hate those days! I forgot to pick my son up on time one day(they have a different time on Fridays) and he was so upset. He didn't think he could ever forgive me...I felt SO bad!

Kimberly Vanderhorst said...

I had a full day of pinching one day for not wearing green.

And my mum was Irish, even!

I'm not bitter though. Really.

Unknown said...

that's funny that you wear a big red shirt for st patty's day :). kathleen

Heather Moore said...

This reminds me when I completely forgot picture day. Fortunately, I only had one child in school. But I was always sure that my son combed his hair and wore a decent shirt. I guess I was extra frazzled because that one particular day, I didn't check his hair and I let him wear a racing t-shirt that was pretty beat up. He called later to say he forgot his backpack. So I ran it up to the school and noticed how nicely dressed and groomed all of the kids were. I thought "Wow, there are so many conscientious moms around." My son never said one thing about picture day when I dropped off the backpack. It wasn't until after school that I realized my mistake.

When the pictures came back--sure enough there was his hair sticking up and his ratty old racing shirt.

Karlene said...

One time I dropped my son off at kindergarten and went merrily on my way to run errands. Got home two hours later and he was sitting on the front porch. No kindergarten that day. I felt really bad but his biggest concern was if I was going to come home in time to feed him lunch.

Brillig said...

My daughter has to wear a uniform to school-- and the uniform has NO green in it, so i thought we were safe. But no, they sent home a letter saying that children were allowed to wear a small green something-- bracelet, hair bow, necklace-- to go along with the uniform. Sheesh, man. It was more complicated than if they'd just let me put a green shirt on her. Sigh. Oh well. Sorry you scarred your kid for life. you really must be a terrible person. :-D


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