My Son and My Pal; Robert

My Son and My Pal; Robert

Well I said the other day I would write a post about my son and give him a post to himself. Robert is now nearly 18, born on July 25th,1998, just 2 days after my own birthday. It’s hard being 4000 miles away from him, especially this year as it is his final year in secondary school,  which is equivalent to high school, and is doing his Leaving Cert exams in June.

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Robert when he started school

I got separated from Robert’s Mam when he was only 4 and it was quite difficult but we managed to do a good job and raise a very level headed, polite and good young man. As he has grown up he has become accustomed to me living elsewhere but moving to the States was always going to be different so along with the support of my parents, having Robert on board from early in the process was very important. Robert got to chat to Leanne on the the phone before she visited in July and Robert was with us when we done the official engagement.

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The 2 of Us

We used to go to the football a lot together and watch St Patrick’s Athletic, well Robert would watch as I took photos. To be able to share football matches with Robert is something I miss a lot. It was our thing. Well that and trains. One of our best memories together was when we got to go to the Isle of Man for 10 days in 2011 and went on the trams and steam trains nearly every day. That’s a memory I will hold onto forever as it was the only holiday out of Ireland that we took together. Robert has been to America before, but it’s unlikely he remembers as he was only 8 months old when we visited Martha’s Vineyard.

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We got to hold the FAI Cup together

It’s funny that I waited my whole life to see St Patrick’s Athletic win the FAI Cup and the year before I left Ireland they managed to win it, and we managed to get a photo taken with it during the year. All these are memories that I will cherish. Hopefully this July Robert will make the trip across the Atlantic and we will get to spend 6 weeks together and catch up properly. We do chat on the phone regularly and it’s great having Skype and being able to do video calls.

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Robert as a young lad outside my little house in Dublin

I miss my son lots and can’t wait to see him in July this year. It’s a big year for him with his exams coming up and hopefully a college place next September. He is doing the work so I hope it works out for him and he gets the course he really wants.

Teaching Ireland

Teaching Ireland

Today was a chance for me to repay some of the kindness that has been shown to me since my arrival here last November. I am a very patriotic Irishman and when someone asks me to tell them about Ireland I am only happy to oblige. So when someone asks me to tell kindergarten children about Ireland I am even more happy to help out especially when the person asking is my wife’s friend and her daughter was an excellent flower girl at our wedding.

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So yesterday afternoon I got some stuff ready, pictures I had taken around Ireland to show of some of our beautiful country, some simple Irish phrases I could say to them, some Irish tunes and some facts and figures that they would understand.

This morning I made my way to Shallowford Presbyterian School all ready. Oh did I forget to mention I had an Ireland rugby top on and my Irish kilt as well as a small Irish flag. I am not a shy public speaker but this was different, adults will tell you to slow down if they don’t understand, I wasn’t sure the children would, but I need not have worried, they did tell me and off we went on a journey from Atlanta to Ireland via photos and facts.

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It was a great experience and one I would not hesitate to do again. After we were finished the children told me about their Leprechaun traps that they had made for St Patrick’s Day and I left them a small Irish flag to put in their display. Last but not least there was time for a photo with one class and to give them their final treat, green shamrock shaped cookies.

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I have to thank Maggie for asking to give the talk and to Charlotte for hosting and for all the children who were so interested and asked some great questions about Ireland and being Irish.