After the first week or so of the whirlwind of tea and relatives and more tea, the kids and myself realised that we were a bit lonely for our friends. We went from having people that we could pop in on without a thought and be ourselves totally to, well, not.
As an adult, I rationally knew that friendships come with time but the children and my heart weren’t listening. There just may have been a rainy day where I could have been found crying in my car in the parking lot of our parish chapel. I had my cry, dried my eyes, and drove back to my father in law’s home with my chin up.
My father in law was as gracious to provide us with a home for the first three months of our time here as we got settled and to give us time for the home that we were going to be renting to be available. I loved being able to have that time with him for myself, my husband, and the kids. Even so, there were times that I needed to get away to deal with my emotions. I needed a girl to hang out with to have the craic with.
One afternoon I was making the dinner at Dad’s home and the kids were outside playing in the field behind us. Suddenly Molly burst inside excitedly and said “Mum! Mum! MUM!! The girls I saw playing outside the last day just called over and asked if I could play with them!” I said of course you can but I will have to walk you down to make sure that it is ok with their parents. Turns out, they were cousins of ourselves. The girls loved that we share a surname. The one sister was going to be in Molly’s class and the other was in the class behind. To say that they all got on like a house on fire would be an understatement. With a sigh of relief I noted that their mum was funny and kind. Someone that I could have the craic with over a cup of tea. At the time I didn’t realise that my new friend, Leanne, had a bit of a cuppa problem I may have to stage a Lyons intervention on her behalf one day. 😉
Through the girls’ friendship and numerous activities ranging from Gaelic football, hip hop (which I initially thought that I was going to have to participate in much to Leanne’s horror or humour?), and tin whistle classes; my husband and my friendship with the girl’s parents has been cemented. It may have even survived a recent dubious movie choice of mine for our double date. (side note, you may want to take a pass on seeing Zoolander 2, just sayin’)
This was all well and good for Molly but my Malachy was finding this all a bit girly. There’s only so much playing with wee princesses that a boy can take. Thankfully, through the power of Facebook, I connected with one mum who lives down the road from where our rental is who has a son around my Malachy’s age. We also were fortunate to reunite with a boy who we had met when, well to be honest when his mum and myself were pregnant over 13 years ago. Those two boys are but a few weeks apart in age. Once Malachy connected with Odhran and Alexander, this island has not been the same. Any chance they got, the three of them or two of them depending on the day were together. There was computer gaming, kayaking, and a bit of farm work as the case may be.
Not a bad life for the kid. And as it happens, I also got to know and really enjoy the company of Odhran’s mum (I’ve already been friendly with Alexander’s mum for years). I know that I can depend on them to help out and they know that I am there for them as well. The foundation of friendships started. And man, the craic can be mighty!
Since the first weeks I’ve made more friends as have the children. School started and boom instant social life! I have dear fledging friendships with girls from our church (yeah I’m looking at you Anne!), ones that are cousins (wait, that’s most of the ones here 😉 ), and the ones I met in the initial weeks when we were home in Ireland. Friendships grow over time and while they are not replacements for my loved ones in Maryland, there’s no doubt that we’re going to be friends …