Well, I'm beginning to believe it's going to happen. We've packed our bags, the house is tidied (more or less), and the garden's been given some love. Brian and I head to work tomorrow for one last day and then - PAM! - onto a series of airplanes that will ultimately deposit us in Dublin. All 7 of us. So if you were with us in spirit for our familymoon roadtrip last summer, you've probably heard me say 'wow, that was amazing, and so much harder than I thought it would be'. And THAT'S because for the bulk of time we were just 2 parents and 2 very young kids! That's, like, very little recharge time for two parents. Well, it was for us, at any rate.
So as we planned our next adventure, which is a gift to Brian for achieving a marvelous 50 years!, we asked ourselves, "where should we go?" and almost in the same breath "who should come with us?". Given that we had a spectacular family Christmas holiday with Brian's family already lined up, we floated the idea of a trip to Ireland past my mom, Janet. And it didn't take her 10 minutes to say "YES, let's!". Mom was born in Dublin, and hasn't been back since the family immigrated to Canada when she was three. Her enthusiasm must have been catching, because soon after, mom's partner Hans was part of the plan.
I've wanted to go to Ireland since I first learned that travelling was something a person could do. Postcards from my aunt Tricia would arrive periodically with stories from around the world that a 6 year old (and 8, 10, 12, 14 yr old) could live on for months. My grandfather graduated from Trinity College in Dublin, and I thought I'd do the same. And while I did travel and live abroad, I never made it to Ireland. Brian's always been interested in going to Ireland, but I think it's really the confluence of people & timing that's propelled us. It's fitting that Tricia will also be joining us, as she embarks on her own first time: travelling without her kids since... kids.
I can't say with any certainty that Otis, 3.5 years old, and Russell, 16 months old, are looking forward to this trip. I mean, Russell is still really just a rowdy passenger on this family train. But Otis, on the other hand, knows that we're going somewhere. He knows that Jamma & Hans & Tricia are coming with us, and he knows that he gets to play cell phone games on the airplane. I think that's pretty much as far as it gets. His waters run deep though. Sometimes it's hard to know what's going on in his sweet & complex brain. This afternoon he filled his backpack up with books for the trip, and he's been dragging it around behind him since. (Dragging, because it is too heavy for him to lift. Because books.) It is now laying in a heap beside his bed. He's also been super tantrum-full & boundary pushing. Change is tricky for this little dude. I am SO excited, though, at the thought that he might remember some of this adventure.
And I'm so excited to explore with family, to un-tether ourselves from the usual, and to sink into another territory. Who even knows what's around the bend?
|Russell surveying our domain|
|Last 'fun day' in Victoria before the trip|
|Jamma - what more can I say?|