Saturday, September 6, 2008


I have a distinct memory of standing in the kitchen of the house in which I grew up, listening to my parents respond to some "why do we have to do this" question of mine with their best "Fiddler on the Roof" imitation of "Tradition!" At the time I was less than amused. Then I went to Notre Dame, and my appreciation for tradition grew exponentially. Fast-forward to parenthood, and suddenly tradition is a crucial component to our family life. Events such as attending church, holidays, and even bedtime assume the more important aspects of ritual, while watching the Irish is (mostly) fun. (I say "mostly" because today's display had us saying "phew" more than anything else.)

Naturally our routine for watching Notre Dame games is a little different than it was during our college days. Looking at the student section of the stadium on TV always makes us yearn a bit for those times, but Clare and Danny bring a whole new element to the experience that is fun in its own way. For starters, Danny wears his game-day jersey, as he has done since he was a wee lad of five months (below).

At some point during the day we play the fight song multiple times, and much dancing/running/stomping ensues. We make sure we have taught the kids the appropriate mascot to follow the phrase, "Go Irish, beat --" and cackle when they either butcher the name or add things like "booty head" to said enemy's name. During the game itself, it sometimes gets tense, and Daddy in particular can get a bit grumpy, but this doesn't usually ruffle their feathers. This year I added what I think was a particularly nice touch, courtesy of Target's $ spot: pom-pons. Clare and Danny each had a set, and they loved them. The energy they expended waving and shaking them had to have burned hundreds of calories. It also proved a decent enough distraction that Tim and I could actually watch most of the plays.

When said game ends as it should, we play the fight song again. Then, we raise the ND flag for the season and give it a proper salute. Man, do the Seymours know how to have fun, or what?

By the way, note Danny's gold cape in the flag photo. Towards the end of the game he went and put it on, then came out of the playroom and proclaimed, "I am Sir Football!" The mind of a two-year-old is a beautiful thing, especially during football season.