It was fitting that my husband and I were married, not too long after our trip to Ireland, at The Pridwin Hotel on Shelter Island. Each summer, when my family returned here, I felt the same feeling of relief as we got there, and was always filled with an inexplicable melancholy as we boarded the ferry to head back home. It always seemed that the further East I headed on Long Island, the deeper I could
exhale. And when heading West, the corollary was true: I’d start to tense up and hold my breath.
After we were married, I moved to Massapequa, the town where my husband had purchased a house when he moved to America from Ireland. Ironically enough, this is the same town I grew up in, and where my parents still lived. Then, a few years later, Finn was born. The pixels of my world were gradually adjusting their resolution from black and white to Technicolor. I was starting to see my life through a prismatic rainbow of gratitude. It would have been redundant for me to click my ruby red heels three times and wish it were so. I was already home.
My family is moving to Ireland soon, and this concept of home has been foremost on my mind. Even though I am moving to a country that feels as much like home as my own, I do not want to lose contact with the many people I love in America. I started to ponder which friends or relatives might be brave enough to put up with us for more than a few days at a time, upon our many return visits from Ireland. This concern snowballed into an undeniably queasy feeling in the pit of my stomach, and I knew that my gut was trying to communicate with me.
Then one day, while my husband and I were bikeriding on Shelter Island, my gut finally spoke up. Why not buy a small home on the island where you were married? You both love it here. And that way, you can return here anytime you wish. Yes, of course, my brain replied. Why didn’t I think of that? How nice to finally agree on something. So, after a bit of sacrifice and effort, this thought actually manifested into a reality. My family is now blessed to have two homes, in every sense of the word, on both sides of The Atlantic. When we move to Ireland, we will not be losing one home, but simply gaining another.
But, I digress. Back to more important things—my pelvis. In case you were still wondering, it
thankfully neither cracked, snappled, nor popped. The fact that I will never again fit into size four jeans, though, is a testament to the fact that both it and my hips have somehow miraculously expanded. Granted, it’s a small price to pay for the other thing that will never return to its former shape—my heart.
My son and I have an evening ritual, which is how he likes to end each day. Every night I tell him the story of tomorrow, then we tell the best and worst parts of our day. Next we pray to Archangel Michael (my son is Finn Michael), and we end with a back massage (and yes, if I had more than one child, this would not be happening).
Story of Tomorrow: Hot air balloon ride to a place where happy little bluebirds fly?
Best Part of My Day: Most days, it is meeting Finn at the bus stop down the block, having him throw his backpack to me from the bus, watching him run along the sidewalk back home, his jacket flapping in the breeze, as if he hasn’t a care in the world, and then both of us waiting for my husband’s loudly beeping truck to back into our driveway.
Worst Part of My Day: I didn’t have one (as he often says).
Prayer: Archangel Michael, please watch over my guardian angel, Finn, who bravely chose me as his mission here on Earth.
Back Massage: Sorry, you’re on your own here.