Friday, November 6, 2009

Me Lads and Lass

My kids are Americans but they have learned to be Irish. They were one and three when we moved here so it's to be expected. We talk about America, we visit and family visit us, and we get special packages of Cheetos, candy corn, Target dollar spot goodies, and Cap'n Crunch. These things are reminders of where they're from but what's real is where they are.

They use words like torch, jumper, biscuits, and jelly. That's flashlight, sweater, cookies, and Jell-O to you and me. They make fun of me for the way I talk. The long aaaaaas and one syllable words made into two…..bayundstayund and hayund. You'd think I stepped off the set of True Blood when in reality my accent is much more subtle since being here.

The other day Rowan came into the kitchen and said, "What's for dinner, so?" and he told Sofia to "cop onto herself". They also speak Irish. Real Irish, as far as I can tell, although I wouldn't know. There's a poem about a cat chasing a mouse and they know how to ask to go to the toilet, very cute but not very useful anywhere but here and only useful here for SAT equivalents. Sofia does a great impression of anyone speaking with an Irish accent. "I went to the shops wit' me ma." And we all say 'h' with a pronounced 'hah', haych. One of our favorite expressions is Janey Mac or Janey Maccers!!! It's like saying, "Holy Cow!!"

They go to public school which is Catholic so they pray to Holy God and Rowan thinks heaven is a pub. They also know more about Mary than I ever did. Sofia was Mary in her school Christmas play and Rowan was Joseph in his. It's funny because Leo was born here but he will be the least Irish of the three. We'll leave before he learns all the Irish ways. Although he did the bum shuffle instead of crawling so my friends joke that he's learning how to be Irish already.

They don't go through drive thrus, they play football not soccer, they skip not jump rope, and they walk to school in the rain. I would not change a thing. I hope that even if they can't remember most of these experiences when they're older they'll have an open mind and be curious about the world. Of course it could all go pear shaped and they could refuse to travel ever again. They'll probably want to come back here.




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