Commentary – The wrath of a mother

Chris Clegg

I always brag I am a Green Day kid. Yes, I was born on St. Patrick’s Day.

I am also part English, not Irish, but like most, St. Patrick’s Day is a day to celebrate no matter what the nationality.

I am not the one to rush out to the local bar and load up on green beer. Did that once, paid for it dearly the next day. Fact is, I hate the stuff. I have a bottle every 4-6 months to remind myself how much I hate it.

Ah, but the odd vodka, that’s different. That is the Ukrainian side of me coming out, I guess. My mother’s side of the family is Luka.

I am not against a cake with a little green icing, however. Actually, I am not against any cake as long as it doesn’t have too much icing. Never used to be that way when I was a kid but as I grow older the sweets don’t agree with me as much.

It’s pretty cool to have a birthday on a special day. I wouldn’t say sharing your birthday of March 17 is the same as Christmas or New Year’s Day, but it does have the advantage of telling your friends it is a day not easily forgotten. It’s not like June 5 or Oct. 3, no offence to all who celebrate that day.

There are, however, two interesting family stories connected to my birthday being on March 17. We were raised as Anglicans. Or, as my nephew used to say when he was young, ‘Anglithings’. He had trouble saying Anglican. I had to work that story into this commentary. Sorry, Jason!

The other story was not so funny, at least according to my mother. A few weeks after I was born, she hauled me off to the church one day to arrange for my baptism. Seems a bit of a disagreement ensued between the good reverend and my mother.

All because I was born on St. Patrick’s Day!

Apparently, the good reverend did not approve of my parents’ choice of naming me Christopher Harvey. He insisted that my name be changed to include Patrick, whether it be the first or added second middle name.

I was that close to being called Patrick. Or Christopher Patrick, or Christopher Patrick Harvey. Actually, not that close at all!

Let’s just say that did not go well. Mom left the meeting in a huff without any arrangements being made, and adamantly refusing to change my name.

Let’s think about this. I cannot imagine anything so insulting to a parent than being told the name you chose for your child is unacceptable. I am sure many parents agonize and debate for long periods of time before a name is chosen. I know in my case Harvey was chosen because Harvey McLachlan was one of my father’s best friends. Christopher was chosen for reasons unknown. Dad frequently called me Christopher Colt 45, however.

In other cases, names are chosen after former family members dear to their hearts, or heroes. Who has the right to tell any parent the name they choose is unacceptable or at the very best, does not meet their standards?

Sheesh!

Anyway, cooler heads prevailed because the good reverend phoned my mother later and conceded to baptize me under the name my parents chose.

All’s well that ends well!

Mom one! The good reverend zero!

I like my name. Always have. One day my sister Donna complained about her name until dad suggested they change it to Ethel Myrtle. After that, Donna didn’t sound so bad, at least in her mind!

Christopher Harvey. Sounds good to me, no matter what the good reverend said.

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