Relaxing back into it

Living

As Covid’s grip finally loosens, a summer of adventures lies ahead


The Dad Diary
Edwin McGreal

After the past two cautious summers, it is great to be heading into the most normal summer season since 2019.
And when you’ve three small kids, three years is a lot of water under the bridge.
It is still hard to credit that at the worst stage of lockdown, we could not travel more than 2km from our homes.
But then we had our own lockdown too. It wasn’t as if we could go off travelling the world or partying every weekend in 2020 and 2021 if Covid had not arrived. Having two small kids and then the addition of a third in Séimí in January 2021 was a de-facto lockdown.
But not being able to bring them to see family and friends for large parts of the year was challenging. They were growing up without people seeing them develop and we were missing out on seeing other little people in our lives flourish and grow too.
The last few weeks has opened, literally, many doors, and the ability to visit people so freely has been a godsend. Our three are in their elements visiting other kids, and it is great for everyone to get out and about, mums and dads too!
We’re hoping, tentatively, that the various ailments that have halted our gallop these past three months or so are all at an end with us coming into summer.
And we can start looking forward. The medium term dream is a nice holiday in the sun maybe next summer. We’re not sure we’re able for a flight with the ages they are at currently, especially Séimí.
Frankie is five now and is able to gloat – and frequently does – that she has been on a plane six times and Éamon hasn’t been on one once. We got in three sun holidays to Malaga and surrounds when we had just the one child. We thought we were busy then!
But we will target a break in Ireland this summer.
We will have a few mini adventures too. Last summer I took Éamon for a cycling spin to Clare Island, and no more than Frankie on the flights, he takes joy in reminding Frankie he went and she didn’t.
So I’ve promised the two of them I’ll bring them over. If Séimí is up for it, we might all travel. The boat journey from Achill alone makes the trip worthwhile.
The birthday-parties circuit has restarted too. Éamon turns four in September and Frankie six in November. Hopefully Covid won’t be as big an issue this winter and both will be able to have big parties, to make up for the more subdued Covid celebrations.
Their parents might even squeeze in a party or two as well.

In his fortnightly column, Edwin McGreal charts the ups and downs of the biggest wake-up call of his life: parenthood.