My son’s best friend, Felix, was born on St. Patrick’s Day. Last year, Gus, who was 5 at the time, was supposed to go to a small after-school party at Felix’s house. They were going to ride to Felix’s house on the school bus, have some cake, and then we were going to pick him up. Gus was very excited. I still remember the disappointment in his eyes when we told him that wasn’t going to happen because of COVID-19, which was spreading unchecked in New York City.

A year later, there’s still not going to be a birthday party, but I’m determined to celebrate Felix, St. Patrick’s Day, and the fact that there’s a glimmer of hope at the end of this very long, very dark tunnel. But I’m tired. Really tired. And I know you are, too.

So here’s what I’m going to do: Order takeout from a local Irish spot, and make a Guinness float for dessert. I love chocolate ice cream with the slightly bitter, coffee-ish beer and this year I’m upping the ante with a flavor that’s very on-brand for 2020/2021: rocky road. I’d recommend splurging on Häagen-Dazs because I think the dense ice cream studded with just-sticky-enough marshmallow blobs and crunchy, salty roasted almonds can really stand up to the stout. Looking for a non-boozy option? Root beer is also great here.

As my family of three gathers around the coffee table with our takeout boxes and sips on our floats, we’ll raise a toast to Felix and hope that sometime soon we can get back to birthday parties, school bus rides with friends, and going out for a pint and some fish and chips at our local Irish pub.

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