Growing up Irish has been the greatest thing for me. It is has been something i've always identified with and has been the one thing i've always been proud of. The Irish are independent, strong, loving and always down for a great time. Here's what it's like growing up Irish:
1. You have more family than you can count.
You have cousins beyond cousins. Some of them you aren't even related to but your families have known each other for so long that you consider yourselves cousins. My dad calls all of the people cousins with a "k."
2. Tea isn't just a beverage, it's a way of life.
Do you want milk or sugar? Or both? There is always hot water boiling in the kettle year round. It doesn't matter if it's been a good day or a bad day, tea is always an acceptable answer.
Do I need to say much more? There is never a wrong time for a pint of Guinness, after all Guinness runs in your blood. Of course you can't go wrong with any other Irish beers (Smithwicks, Harp, Murphy's, Tom Creans, Bulmers. They're all pretty great).
4. You identify with a certain county.
With 32 counties in Ireland, each of them is very special to their people. Personally, my family is from County Cork and I always identify with Cork when asked where i'm from. You know that where your family comes from is extremely important.
5. You know the difference between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
The Republic of Ireland > Northern Ireland.
6. Potatoes are holy.
Mashed, baked, boiled, fried. Any way you can make it, you'll eat it. You never turn down the opportunity to a plate of potatoes.
7. Sunday mornings are the best.
Sunday mornings start off with church, always, then a nice full Irish breakfast. Eggs, potatoes, rashers, bangers, black and white pudding, tomatoes and beans. Don't forget the tea!
8. There are Irish blessings everywhere.
Odds are your mom has an Irish blessing on a plaque, picture frame or even a plate around your house. You might think it's silly to see them all over, but secretly you take comfort in the words.
9. You have a claddagh ring.
Love, loyalty and friendship. Odds are you got one for your birthday or even Christmas from your Nana or other relative. You know what finger to wear it on and what it means facing out and what it means facing in.
10. St. Paddy's Day is another Christmas for you.
It's tradition that your mom makes corned beef and cabbage (even if it's really just an American-Irish dish) and you love it. Your friends all know you keep a countdown until the day from the start of the year and that you're going to have great "craic" that night.
11. You grew up listening to Irish music.
From Luke Kelly and The Dubliners, to Sinéad O'Connor, you know all the classics. You know the words to "When Irish Eyes are Smiling" "Raglan Road" "Galway Girl" and "Molly Malone."
12. A trip to Ireland is everything to you.
Whether you've been there before or haven't made it to the homeland yet, it's all you think about. If you've been there, all you want to do is go back. If you haven't been there, it's definitely the first on your list when you finally travel.
13. You probably hate the sun.
If you're like me, you're pretty pale. The sun doesn't play well with fair Irish skin. Lots of sun screen needed, or even just staying indoors is a better option.
14. Your family is everything to you.
The Irish love their family more than anything else in this world. Despite if you're mad at them, you know that your family is always there for you and always will be. The Irish have an unbreakable bond.
15. Above all, you know growing up Irish has been nothing but a blessing.
You wouldn't want to have been raised any other way. The Irish way is the best way!