For me, Parade weekend is the
holiest of holy days greatest weekend of the year! I go to sleep on Friday night with the same excitement as I would on Christmas Eve. Visions of floats, green beer, green bagels and leprechauns dance in my head. And no, its not just about the drinking or anything. It’s about the fun, friends and people you meet. The community comes together around a simple holiday to celebrate the life of St. Patrick and the time that he drove all of the snakes out of Ireland.
On Saturday, the second largest St. Patrick’s Day parade in the United States is held a mere 15 minutes from my home. This year, we were not able to attend that parade and went to a St. Patrick’s Day party in NJ instead.
The party was great, and this party last year was actually the party that Jack made his first debut as a newborn to all of our Jersey friends. Oh, how the time flies!
Sunday was another busy day for our little family! Chris has been taking RCIA classes for the past several months because he wishes to become a Catholic, so we went to mass at 10:30am where I became my husband’s Godmother. It was really a special experience, and although I was holding Jack in one arm and had my other hand on Chris’ shoulder, I was overwhelmed with love for my husband. How he wishes to have a closer bond to God and to be better bonded in faith with his family. A truly humbling and happy experience all around.
The second part of our day was another mass with the Bishop of Our Diocese where Chris signed the book stating his intent to become Catholic in less than 40 days. It was a beautiful service and Chris was proud as a peacock as he signed the book and was blessed by the Bishop. I don’t have pictures of the service as flash photography was not allowed due to the filming, but it truly was a memorable day.
Following the service, we rushed home to get into our Irish gear to head over to the parade across the swollen river. (It was close to flood stage earlier this week)
We had a beer and caught up with several friends at the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick Hospitality room and enjoyed the Irish band that was playing. All of it was truly wonderful!
In the Hospitality room, we kicked the keg and while chatting with friends, we made plans to go to our favorite local Irish pub for dinner and to celebrate our friend’s first pregnancy! They are due right around my father’s birthday in September. Just a wonderful time for them and we are so thrilled to be a part in it!
Granted, we did not get to see any of the parades on “Parade Weekend,” but it was a wonderful and memorable time with my family. I couldn’t ask for more. And next year, the guys will be pushing the strollers in the parade with the Friendly Sons. Truly an awesome thought.