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We can’t thank Jerry and Jill enough for thinking of us and giving me a reason to leave the cuckoo’s nest of parenting last week. Jerry was in town with Alison Krauss and Union Station, and they played the Grand Canal Theatre. It was also a wonderful excuse to see a bit of the Docklands area, which had money poured into it during the Celtic Tiger years, much like the resurgence in Brooklyn’s Columbia St. Waterfront and Gowanus Canal areas. It is an interesting area of Dublin, where the Grand Canal empties into the Liffey River, which divides the city into north and south.
The sold-out show was fantastic. The band received standing ovations. Their tour buses were headed out later that evening, bound for Glasgow on the ferries. So after the concert ended, fittingly, we headed over to the Ferryman Pub.
The Ferryman feels like everything a pub should be at this point in Ireland’s history. A young band was shoved up in corner, playing traditional music and the line to the bar was three people thick at every turn. Poured Guinesses sat atop awaiting their settling. It was crowded with suits, hipsters, old people and young people. It was low-ceilinged and lively, and we even ran into Maura’s sister and her husband.
Thanks again, Jerry & Jill. And as for Samuel Beckett, he’s probably rolling in his wormy grave, but I think this is pretty solid advice for motherhood: “Try again. Fail again. Fail better.”
All of our constant moving has made me anxious about the idea of traditions. I am coming to accept that our life will be peripatetic, so it seems even more important that as a young family we create traditions. Last year, we took the boys to a pumpkin patch on one of those glorious, sun-warm fall days. We got lost in a corn maze and frolicked in a pit of corn kernels.
On Halloween, we dressed them up in adorable animal costumes and hit the party at the local library with our playgroup. Here’s a bit of time travel (photo by my friend Colleen):
Halloween is our first official holiday in this new country, so I really wanted to dress up the boys (for some inexplicable reason, they call costumes “fancy dress,” as in, we’re going to a “fancy dress” party). And though I wish I could upload some photos of them as a dinosaur and a shark, they lasted about 30 seconds in them and then demanded “Off! Off!”
So pumpkin-carving became extremely important. We got a pumpkin last weekend and went out into the lane to carve it before the flooding rains came.
Later in the week, we went out to the Halloween party at their creche. We thought perhaps if they saw the other children in their costumes, they might put on theirs. Each time I suggested it, I was met with “No, no.” It goes with the territory, I suppose. I read somewhere that toddlerhood is a kind of mini-adolescence. They are like little teenagers sometimes.
They did show us some of the things they made for the party.
Sascha’s office was pretty festive. Everyone dressed up on Friday. One of his coworkers was Sascha. Sascha got some Brylcreem, a cigarette and lighter, and made business cards that read, “Womanizer, Alcoholic, Sometimes Ad Exec” and was Don Draper.
That night, Sascha got some good news and we asked our sitter to babysit last minute so we could go out and celebrate. I am happy to report that after many “eh” meals in restaurants that were highly recommended (posts on dining in Dublin with and without the wee ones forthcoming), we had a fantastic dinner at Eatery 120. Best burger I’ve had since being in Ireland.
And I wouldn’t have believed it if I didn’t see if for myself on Skype, but I guess it will be a snowy Halloween on the east coast of the U.S. So much for tradition!
Happy Halloween, everyone!