We’re going to be friends

 

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’)

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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.

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This gorgeous shot of Malachy and Odhran kayaking was captured by Patrick Higgins photography early in the Fall 2015

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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 …

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No matter where this path may lead my family will always keep me strong and joyful.

 

Lasts leading to firsts: Play ball! Our first day of our last season of baseball and softball

Play Ball!  In the States, it is that time of year that reminds me of green grass, lines of lime on a clay field, eye black,  peanuts, soft pretzels, and cow tails. You can never forget the snow cones! Grape’s more favorite but Cherry’s favorite too! (click the hyperlink please 😉 )  There’s chatter in the fields as well as chatter at the fence line. No matter how in depth your conversation with your fence line BFF may be , you always saw your kid’s great play.  In summation, it’s the best time of the year.

Today was our local littler league baseball and softball organizations try outs.  I love seeing the parents and children again.  The exclamations of “I can’t believe how much they’ve grown since last season” are heard on repeat.  The time waiting for your kids age group to be up is just extra social time with friends enjoying the sunshine and atmosphere together. I love it all.

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Odd to know that this will be our last season here.  I am excited to get involved in Gaelic Athletic Association’s various sports.  I look forward to my kids being involved on the field and me on the sideline.  No quicker way to make friends than on a football pitch!  Be that as it may, there is no doubt that we will also play baseball/softball when we move. But it won’t be the same.  Baseball is such iconic americana that has not quite caught on as well in Ireland.  Ah well, that’s what back yards and satellite tv are for, we will just have to make sure that we have plenty of peanuts and Cracker Jacks on hand!

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A mother’s son’s birthday is today <3

Just a few months ago I was holding my baby son for the very first time. He was perfection but the nurses whisked him a way from myself and his father for some special attention.

FullSizeRender-9164226_10151519672344761_1390187656_n1001978_10152412675084761_4837430373100980272_n Wasn’t it only a few weeks ago that you started school? You in your navy trousers and white polo shirt, shiny as a button with a mischievous grin and a face full of freckles. I knew that you were going to cause your teachers to go a bit mental but that they would love you as I did.

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Approximately two weeks ago you started playing travel baseball. Your father was so diligent bringing you to your games. Your step father, brother, sister, and myself were always so proud seeing how much you had grown as a young man and baseball player.

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Last week you started high school. It was a struggle at first, but we always loved you. It didn’t take you long before you found your niche. You grew as a student, teammate in soccer and baseball, musician, and son. Your humor makes all of us laugh. Your compassion for others is evident. What a fantastic person you are becoming. Always so proud of you.

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240067_845197212191271_2984869994320260836_o FullSizeRender-11 FullSizeRender-12 FullSizeRender-14 FullSizeRender-15 FullSizeRender-1624423_458074640955248_1011914931_nFullSizeRender-20FullSizeRender-21 FullSizeRender-19 How is it that today you are now 18 years old? An adult! A few weeks shy of graduating high school and then you will be at university! Remember that no matter how old you are nor how many miles may be between us, you will never ever stop being my baby. I love you, Tommy. 1LK_1738 FullSizeRender-17IMG_5207 FullSizeRender-22

Lunch duty, baseball, karate, pink hair, and Chinese food: just another Saint Patrick’s day or Kiss me I’m Irish (ish)

If I received a residual check for every time someone said to me “It must be Saint Patrick’s day every day in your home.  I can’t imagine what the actual day is like for you all.”, I would be a very rich woman.  Wouldn’t that be grand? 🙂

The truth of it would bore most people.  We are the parents of 3 children. We don’t go mad on the beer or whisky on Saint Patrick’s day.  To be honest, we didn’t do anything special at all this year.

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Kiss me I’m Irish ish!!

My day started at the elementary school as I had volunteered to help with lunch duty.  The school is in the midst of the dreaded PARCC testing, therefore the need arose for the parents to rise to the occasion and help out. The lunch room was a sea of green as children live in mortal fear of being pinched!! The outfits were from the mundane green t shirt to a girl who had a headband with green white and gold curls tumbling off of it!   My own Molly-Ann was in the mundane category but meh we are Irish she had nothing to prove 😉  She was thrilled to bits to see me at her school .  I received a lot of hugs and kisses while her class was in the lunch room.  It was fun seeing the neighborhood kids that I have known for years.  They really do get excited to see outside people in the middle of their school day.  You have to love the joy that they still have for being in school and greeting people.

From my youngest’s school I was off to my eldest’s first scrimmage baseball game of the season.  I must admit that I had to choke back tears as this is his last season.  How in the world is my baby almost 18 years old and off to university in a few short months??  It was a beautiful sunny, crisp, and rather windy day.  Perfect baseball weather.  It was so good to pick up baseball conversations with mums that we had dropped off last Spring.

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My favorite Warrior!

Time was short so I had to leave early from Tommy’s game and was off to pick up Malachy for his Karate class.  He had his first class last week and is loving it.  The discipline and self confidence he is gaining is already apparent.  Sure I may be running a lot between counties, but it is well worth it.  It helps that his beloved uncle, Dave, is a black belt instructor at the school as well as two of his dearest friends, Luke and Kendrick, are fellow students 🙂

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Malachy is all in black facing his opponent.

While Malachy was practicing martial arts, Molly and I visited with Gayle and Mari.  The girls were a whirlwind of activity.  They skipped from playing Halo to dumpster diving for flowers at the florist at the back of the property!  They were so pleased to present Gayle and myself with their beautiful finds ❤

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Molly-Ann had changed out of her green by this time to be a princess         warrior!

My dear friend, Gayle,  and I took advantage of the girls being otherwise occupied and dyed my hair.  Perhaps I am in the midst of a mid life crisis, but Radiant Orchid highlights seemed like a rather fun idea.  We talked about serious topics, came up with the plan for world peace … that would work if given a chance… but then all was forgotten when Gayle was rinsing out my hair.  Apparently she thought that my chest and shoulder was in desperate need of a shower!!  Goodness, I haven’t laughed that hard in ages.  I am quite sure that her teenaged daughter was questioning our sanity. My g-d it is good to really laugh with a dear friend.  Paybacks a b#Tch, Gayle.  It’s your turn on Thursday!  🙂

She looks a little Too happy!  This was taken before she attacked me with water, I should have recognized that glint in her eyes!!
She looks a little Too happy! This was taken before she attacked me with water, I should have recognized that glint in her eyes!!

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As grand as it was to have the craic with Gayle, all good things come to an end. The hair dying was completed and Malachy was ready to be picked up.  We came home to eat a very traditional Saint Patricks meal of … Chinese take away.  Traditions are wonderful.  Ronan and myself love preparing traditional meals that he grew up with and sharing with our children the customs of our culture.  Be that as it may there are days that our children our more important than our holidays.  Tonight I will make a nice Irish meal with Irish chocolate for desserts.  The day is not as important as is the importance of our family and friends.

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Ronan and I being Ronan and I 😉