Hello all! It’s been a while since we chatted. Life has gotten away from me in Ireland. It’s been busy.
The kids, the husband, the new business venture, weddings, birthday parties and vacations have kept us ticking over since I last wrote.
We have five weddings this year, one of which is in Italy this week. Both John and I traveled to Sorrento for three days without the kids. Our families minded the smallies.
When we return we take a family trip to Sherwood Forrest in England where we will stay for seven days. The excitement is electric in the house.
It was two years ago last week that the Mooneys set foot on Irish soil as a family. Two years since Colum or Sadie stood on American soil. Two years since we said our New York goodbyes, and yet, it only feels like yesterday.
Time does have a way of getting past us without us even noticing. Thank God we are all still healthy and, despite a case of chicken pox (Sadie) and the odd sniffle, we’ve survived another Irish winter.
We were spoiled last summer with our tropical weather. Who knows what is in store for us in the next few months, but if this week’s weather is anything to go by we may need to stock up on the raincoats and wellingtons.
We don’t mind the rain. The kids have lots of fun in the rain. It just makes us look forward to the sun more and appreciate it when it does rear its beautiful head.
As some of the regular readers of this column know, I became a publisher of my very first magazine since returning to Ireland – Brides of Limerick. I now have three issues under my belt and am currently working on the fourth for July.
Due to the success of Brides of Limerick I’ve made the decision to launch a sister publication in Kerry, Brides of Kerry, this coming November. So it’s full steam ahead. It also helps that I’m from Kerry so wish me luck.
Being a business owner can be daunting at times. In my field it can be difficult competing against online businesses, but it’s working so far and long may it continue.
We have been in our own home in Newport, Co. Tipperary since November. We just love where we live.
The kids have a lot of friends from the houses nearby. There is a great walking loop around the village that I try to get done every morning before the kids wake up.
I’ve joined a local committee to try and have a playground erected in the village. We are currently doing some minor renovations, but I guess when you become a homeowner renovations and upgrades will always be ongoing. I enjoy finally being able to choose a color for the wall or a floor for our living room. It’s nice to finally be homeowners.
We also have very fond memories of our small two-bed apartment in Yonkers. We loved that place. It’s where it all began really.
So yes, we are enjoying life as it comes but by far, as it is for most parents, the most enjoyable part is the kids (at least at this age anyway).
Sadie has grown into a small version of me. She looks like me. She is giddy like me and she adores the boys!
Colum is the man of the house and yet, at the same time, is very sensitive to all our needs. They are best pals. We will see how long that will last.
They share friends, baths, stories and food. They are better than any comedy on the television.
Don’t get me wrong – they have their moments too. They are far from perfect. Sadie went through a phase of pulling Colum’s face if he didn’t do what she wanted and Colum can still get a little whiny when he is tired.
“Mommy, why did God make me so small? Is it because he didn’t have enough of pieces to finish me off,” asks Colum, three.
I answer with a hearty laugh.
“Why are you laughing Mommy? Don’t laugh. It’s okay that I am little, isn’t it?” he asks again looking for affirmation that he is “normal.”
I try to explain that he will grow over time, especially if he continues to eat his vegetables. He finally nods like he understands.
Colum knows that he and Sadie were born in New York. The place across the ocean where there is a zoo (Central Park) and his friends.
He asks me nearly once a week can we visit. I tell him to save his money and we can.
When I tell him the story of how John (his dad) and I met in New York and the various things we did while living there for nine years he keeps asking, “Who was minding me Mommy?”
He just can’t wrap his head around that fact that he didn’t exist more than three years ago. I try to explain, but he interrupts saying maybe he was in the sky (heaven) waiting to go to the hospital to be born.
It is adorable until he begins to ask how he got in my belly in the first place. I tell him to ask his dad.
He is also curious about the living arrangements of people who are not alive like his granddad Mooney, whom he never met. I tell him heaven and that he is having the best time of his life. He wants to know when he will come back because “I never met him and I want to show him my new bike. I think he will like it.”
I assure him that people who go to heaven don’t come back, but he is adamant they do. “Maybe if I wait at the front door I might see him coming,” Colum continues. I leave it off.
Sadie just repeats some of the questions Colum asks but really hasn’t a clue what she is asking.
Anyone who has their own kids, nieces or nephews or friends with kids will understand how enjoyable this age is. Colum is three and a half years and Sadie is two years and three months. They are glued at the hip now.
Colum always adored his little sister, but Sadie, as she came into herself, could take him or leave him. But the past few months have changed her.
She follows Colum everywhere. She wants to be him. She cycles his bike, wears his shoes and pjs. She wants the exact same foods he has and she loves his friends.
For us as parents it’s a joy to watch our two bundles love each other so much. They now entertain each other, look out for each other, and more importantly stick up for each other.
At the playground the other day a boy pushed Sadie aside so he could get down the slide. It didn’t faze her but I could overhear Colum loudly say to the boy, “Don’t push my sister Sadie.” I was a proud mom.
Life goes on for all of us. I still miss New York all the time. Mostly the people and friendships.
I miss the banter in Yonkers and the smell of pretzels cooking at the side of the street in Manhattan and the sound of the crickets when night falls in the suburbs.
I don’t miss the New York summers or the heartache we felt every now and then when we were away from family. It’s nice to be home but equally nice to have had New York as our home for nearly a decade of our lives.
Not everyone who returns settles as we have. We have friends who would move back to New York in the morning if they could afford it or could be legal.
I have one friend who lived in San Francisco for 18 years. She moved home with her husband and two kids in the boom. They are now in negative equity and her three sisters are still living in San Fran.
She longs for the sun, the relationships with her siblings and “the American way of life,” she tells me. It’s hard for some.
So that’s the update folks. Until next time. April (April@irishvoice.com)
* Originally published in June 2014.