This morning I donned my new green t-shirt with the smiley face with little consideration to today being St. Patrick’s Day.
I spent the morning at the playground with my daughter and a friend and her two kids, followed by grocery shopping and a stop at the pet store for cat food. After our errands, it seemed frozen yogurt was in order. As we spooned on toppings, I thought about what a sweet day it had been.
And then what should the radio overhead begin playing but “Come on Eileen” by Dexy’s Midnight Runners. Within the first four notes, I am flashing back hard. How many times have I done my “signature” dance to that song? Hips shaking, hair flying.
I sit in the yogurt shop (what says the 80s like a yogurt shop anyway) eating my pistachio green treat, and though I am looking at my daughter, for the next four minutes, my mind is back in Whitewater, Wisconsin with my friend Sara and we are rockin’ it.
When the radio announcer next says something about St. Patrick’s Day, I laugh a bit inside. Despite my green shirt, I had forgotten it was a holiday—the most sacred day of the year for college students. Seventeen years ago I would have been raging drunk on green beer by mid-afternoon, having waiting with friends for the bar doors to open at 7 a.m. (That “a.m.” is not a typo—they really know how to celebrate a drinking day in Wisconsin). At that time this morning I was cuddling my daughter who had woken up coughing. Yes, times have changed.
I don’t often miss those days, but I love my little flashback visits. When the next song comes on, Green Day’s “Time of Your Life,” I smile again. That young dancing queen did have the time of her life. This not-so-young mom is having the time of her life, too. I hope 20 years from now whatever I’m doing it still feels like the time of my life. Our definitions of fun may change over the years, but we can always keep dancing. And I for one am so glad that crappy green beer is no longer a prerequisite.