Even in my days prior to elementary school, I remember every March 17th, my mom would take out the skinny green Crayola marker and carefully outline a perfect shamrock shape on each of our cheeks. I remember thinking how cool my brother was, wearing it like that to school!
Though my sister and I were just at home those days, she didn’t let us miss out on that fun. The hardest part was trying to sit perfectly still, even though it tickled. Then, waking up from nap to a green smear across my arm and face.
Every single year, this was a tradition. We would all get our shamrock before leaving for school, and all the kids would say, “Wow, who drew that?” and I would proudly say that it was my mom.
"She let you put it on your face!?!”
“Yep, she’s cool.” I would explain.
Until the year I didn’t want it on my face anymore.
I decided that it wasn’t so cool anymore.
I think it was maybe 6th grade when I requested that she draw it on my hand instead.
Even my sister teased, “Mine is so much cooler on my cheek! What’s wrong with you?”
But I had decided that I had outgrown that tradition.
“It’s still cool on my hand!”
Until the year I didn’t want it on my hand either.
I decided that wasn’t cool either.
From being envious of my bother, to post-nap-time green smear, to tattoo on my face, to my hand, to not at all, this was the evolution of St. Patrick’s Day cool, for me.
If I could take it all back I would. Today, I would love to sit as perfectly still as possible, even though it tickled, and let my mom carefully draw the shamrock on my face, because actually, family traditions are cool.