It is Sunday, October 13, 2013 and I can measure our time on US soil in hours now instead of days. Today has been jam packed full of last minute errands and good bye visits to some of our favorite friends. These last few weeks have been surreal; I mean really how many people pick up their entire family and move to another country? I have been so busy preparing that the full impact of our decision is now beginning to fully take effect in my mind. For those, of you who don’t know the story….let me share how our move to Dublin began. Since I am not sure how many people will be reading this I will refer to myself as H, my husband as J and our kids A and T.
Last fall after a particularly disappointing 2012 J decided we needed a change of pace/scenery and begin applying for openings in Canada. I know right??? I hate the cold and all but Montreal sounded like a pretty fun adventure. I imagined A and T running around speaking French in their cute school uniforms. One day, J came home and said there is an opening in Dublin and I applied, but don’t worry, I’ll never get the job anyway. Fastforward one month….J comes home and says he has received an email at work and he thinks it means he has been preselected for the Dublin job. “You know if I get the Dublin job, we have to go….I can’t back out now.”
All of the sudden our decision to move to Canada for a few years has been turned into a European adventure. I’ll admit I was super excited at first but somewhat sad, too. I loved the thought of giving our family the opportunity to experience a new culture and to travel Europe. I was also sad to leave our loving family and wonderful friends; the thought of the kids not getting to see their grandparents when they want is pretty crappy. I am definitely a Florida girl at heart and dread the thought of a temperature drop below the 50’s at night 😦
Long story short…..J was hired and T managed to clear medical rather quickly. Look’s like we are off to Dublin, but not to worry says J “my buddy who got sent to Canada applied over a year ago and they just left” Little did we know we would be leaving within 6 months with only a 60 day notice! NO big deal, I’ll just take care of our house and two kids by myself while our baby has major surgery. No really….I don’t mind, I know how to do all kinds of handyman things around the house and fix cars, too. Add a jerk dog into the mix who enjoys nothing more than to run out the door as said single mom is trying to get everybody out of the house. Huge thanks to our neighbors who showed their athletic talents in a race against a boxer who is built like a brick shithouse and enjoys swimming in filthy ponds after water fowl.
I could write 1000 posts about our crazy, last Florida summer. It was sure full of fun and many surprises, many of which I cannot share, but for those of you closest to me, you know about all the crazy stuff that happened while J was gone. Let’s just say you won’t believe what you can fix with tape and Gorilla glue 🙂
I was left homeless and carless within a matter of 48 hours, thanks to a surprise week early move and a bad water pump on the Toyota. So here we were….me, a toddler, and a baby like a band of Gypsies left to wander about until we left for Dublin. We did the only thing we could; we went to the beach and tried to give it one last good Hurrah.
Of course if it weren’t for bad luck, I may have no luck at all, so our week at the beach had its share of hiccups. But, I, Clark Griswold-like, was determined that all of us were going to have fun, GD it, every minute of every day!
I was looking forward to a Friday night girls dinner at the beach while my mom and J’s aunt watched the kids. I had a fabulous dinner with two wonderful friends and I even slept in until…9am the next day. I stretched, anticipating the fun beach day ahead that I had planned in order to see our large group of friends one last time. What is that, they say about if something seems to good to be true????? Exactly, I should’ve know better….there would be no break for me. A quick morning call to check on the kiddos was answered by a raspy S (my mom) who believed she had the flu. I went into full on Outbreak mode; genuinely believing all of us would end up flu stricken stuck with one toilet whilst holed up at the Tradewinds (picture the bridal shop seen in Bridesmaids). I drove home immediately and cancelled my beach day, leaving my friend from Ocala to lay poolside and at least enjoy her morning before returning to her own crazy house 🙂
“Hey kids, look at that rainbow.” I say. I lift baby T up first to see the rainbow outside our hotel window and then a jealous, A is desperately screaming for a turn. I set T down for a second on the hotel bed and picked up A….in the middle of turning around I saw T mid fall. Poor little guy fell like a deadweight with a sickening thud onto the thinly carpeted, concrete floor. After screaming for a few minutes he acted sluggish and culminated the episode with a desperate gagging vomit. “Uggghhhh….really?” I’m thinking. Just what we need, a head injury while we are staying at the beach. I drove T to the ER at All Kids where I am told its a 3 hour wait and the nurse says, “If it were me, I would feed him and stay like 30 minutes….if he doesn’t throw up then just go home.” As an ARNP, I heed her advice and decide T is better off at home as I wouldn’t have wanted a CT scan anyway with his lack of symptoms. Also, thanks to a great cousin, Tracy for all your doctor concussion expertise! Thankfully, T was fine and we went on with our beach vacation….that is until 48 hours later, when A wakes up and starts vomiting. A $50 copay later, I decide maybe she just had some chocolate milk that didn’t agree with her, but with us leaving in just a matter of days, I can’t risk an illness. Luckily, we were Floridians, so we didn’t suffer the familiar tourist fates of sun poisoning or jellyfish stings. Like my uncle Don, I meticulously applied sunscreen every 90 minutes. While our beach trip was reminiscent of a chaotic, childhood trip to Myrtle Beach, you can rest assured, cousin Chris & Jaime, our little band of three stuck together and “Ate the damn, ham!”
I must say I am thankful that the three of us have survived this last week on US soil. I realize the random incidents that have happened this past week are not bad luck, but merely life with kids. Yep that’s right, with kids you will have unexpected trips to the ER, vomiting/illness anytime you plan to do something special or fun, lots of screaming, and just general chaos. It is in the face of this adversity that the parental unit must press on and with the Griswold spirit ensure a fun time is had by all, even if said good time is forced on you. Now….if we can just survive an international flight….more about that next post 🙂