Personal Statement

Personal Statement

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Kid Stuff: 'Tis a Blessing to Be Irish

Or, in the case of my kids, 'tis a blessing to be:  25% Irish (paternal grandfather); 25% Scottish (paternal grandmother); 25% "primarily Scotch-Irish with a little 'other British' and Native American thrown in" (maternal grandfather); and 25% "throwback to the Austro-Hungarian Empire" (Austrian, Hungarian, Slovenian and a tad Russian; maternal grandmother).

My husband will tell you that I'm the complicated one - and I guess the breakdown above is Exhibit "A".  Before you ask, yes, there's a difference between Scottish and Irish and Scotch-Irish.  Look it up.

Parnell is named (directly) after a relative and also (indirectly) after the Irish statesman, Charles Parnell.  His direct descendant emigrated to the United States from County Donegal (birthplace of many a fine sweater) as an adolescent and thereafter basically made his way through the new world on his own, finding work as a "gandy dancer" (track laborer) during the construction of the Transcontinental Railroad and later as a cattle drover, which is what brought him to Texas - setting the wheels in motion for my children to be 25% Irish.

Back when I had my act (more) together, I used to send out St. Patrick's Day cards.  Didn't get around to sending them this year, but am attempting to earn partial credit by posting these blasts from the past.

The quote on the last one is my favorite. It's prettier in Gaelic:

Go raibh tú daibhir i mí-áidh
Agus saibhir i mbeannachtaí
Go mall ag déanamh namhaid, go luath a déanamh carad,
Ach saibhir nó daibhir, go mall nó go luath,
Nach raibh ach áthas agat
Ón lá seo amach.

The English translation:

May you be poor in misfortune,
Rich in blessings,
Slow to make enemies,
Quick to make friends,
But rich or poor, quick or slow,
May you know nothing but happiness
From this day forward.

Happy St. Pat's from the McGlincheys, a day early!

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