Mommy Diaries: Saying goodbye to family just gets harder and harder


I’m lucky enough to go back to Ireland with a skill that’s still in demand. In my former life I was a sign language interpreter, and to my advantage there is currently no working interpreter in Limerick (where we will hopefully live). 

So my days of working from home will be coming to an end, and that’s good too.  I’m sure after the second baby (God willing) I’ll be ready to get back into a suit and out into the world of work in Ireland.

And if I’m being honest, most of the people I know (who bought big houses in the boom and fancy cars) are still able to afford their yearly trip to Spain, a ticket to the All-Ireland and an odd weekend away. And some of these people have lost their jobs.

What we have on our side is the radical drop in house prices and a strong work/survival ethic that life in New York gives all immigrants.

Yes, the Irish weather is bad, but anyone who knows me in New York knows I strongly dislike our summers here.  (It might have something to do with the fact that I was pregnant for the past two, but a bit of rain will do us no harm.)

But I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again -- we will miss New York.  How could we not?

We’ve made great lives for ourselves here, developed life-long friendships and I strongly believe that they’ll always be a part of us.

But thanks to the Internet, phones and planes, New York and our friends are never going to be too far away.

While unloading mom and Mike’s luggage from the trunk of our car last week at JFK I glanced around to see other people saying their goodbyes.

One Irish woman with a strong Northern accent was hugging what looked to be her father tightly.  She cried as he assured her he would see her at Christmas.

It didn’t seem to quell her tears though. She left him at the door of the airport and one could feel her pain immensely.  I knew we were next to do our own goodbyes.

Like most people I hate them, so I clung tightly to Colum, threw him around for some last hugs and kisses and back into the car I lunged immediately.

We will be home in eight months so there really is no need for tears, I was telling myself. But eight months is still a long time, especially in the life of a child.

As we drove away from the airport that day John and I discussed how happy our decision to move home has made our own parents.

A New York-based friend of mine became a grandfather to a beautiful baby boy a few weeks ago.  He just spent over a week with his new bundle of joy in Chicago and told me on the phone today that he wept tears of sadness while saying goodbye to him.

“The last time I cried April was when I left Ireland as a teenager,” he shared.
I really don’t want there to be any more tears!

Liz has already picked out a stroller she wants us to purchase for her to go into the container home.  She keeps telling me what she has to baby proof in her house and gets so excited at the thought of her grandchildren playing on swings (that she doesn’t own) out her back garden. It makes me happy to see how excited she is about our return.

I guess having children changes everything, and for us those changes will bring us closer to our families and further away from the lives we once knew in America.  And that’s okay by us!