Although Glounthaune, my hometown (village) near Cork city hosts one of the shortest St. Patrick’s Day parades, what it may lack in length, it makes up for in style. Take hats – in the not too distant past, most of us would brave the chilly March 17th in sensible woolly hats and scarves, with a clump of shamrock safety-pinned to our coats. However, sartorial tastes have changed, especially if the kids get involved!
Now it’s a parade of ginormous leprechaun hats with beard attachments, emerald afro-type wigs, shamrock-antennae shaped hair bands, not to mention faces painted with patriotic green, white and gold stripes. St. Patrick’s mitre is in the half-penny place.
Some years ago when my kids were small, they bought me a lurid green, silver-fringed Stetson (part Mother’s Day present) and insisted I wear it at the local parade. “Oh God, do I have to?” I thought, but what the heck, didn’t they go to the trouble of buying it for me? Anyway, in the sea of colourful headgear, no one would take the slightest bit of notice.
However, before the parade got underway, my pre-teen daughter and her pals commandeered it. That was the last I saw of my hat, only to hear, later, that it inadvertently ended up as a receptacle for small change on the footpath outside a shopping centre. The friend wearing it was to meet her mum outside the main door. Armed with a bottle of orange, she set the hat on the ground while she sipped her beverage, only to be surprised by a passer-by who threw in some coins!
So parents, watch out if the kids swipe your leprechaun hat – they might just return with the crock of gold!
©Maeve O’Keeffe 2017 www.facebook.com/frazzledmammycork