The world gets a little bigger


The Day Diary
Edwin McGreal

It is easy to forget how fascinating the world must appear to young eyes.
When we are still blown away from time to time by breathtaking views, imagine the wonder that must light up the eyes of babes.
Oh to be as easily excited as Éamon (2) is by the sight of a tractor or a digger coming towards us. He is like a hawk spotting any piece of machinery around the place, even if it is in a field well off the road.
Mind you as much as he loves seeing tractors and plant driving by the house, he doesn’t like to get too close either.
A digger was at work up the road a few weeks ago and the driver got out to let me sit in the cab with Éamon – very trusting of him you might think.
Éamon was having none of it though, as far as he was concerned the digger was for looking at, not sitting in.
Maybe he will be a journalist so like me, an observer and admirer rather than a participant.
Frankie gets excited when we turn the corner towards somebody’s house we are visiting. That has been a rare enough occurrence in recent months with lockdown but she absolutely loves getting out and about and seeing and meeting people. Long may that last.
Both of them are very content driving in the car with me.
Indeed, so happy is Éamon in the back on his own that when I drop Frankie off to naoínra in the morning, I can spin around for an hour making work calls while Éamon will sit contently in the back, watching the world go by.
They love going for a ‘spin’ which will be to nowhere in particular but might be to give their baby brother a chance to go to sleep in peace. However, the excitement is off the charts if a destination such as a visit, a trip to a playground or a shop is on the cards.
Éamon will tell anyone that listens about the playgrounds in Keel, Achill Sound, Newport and Westport. Frankie will tell people whether they’re listening or not!
The lifting of the 5km travel limit and subsequent lifting of the ban on inter-county travel has opened up so many places to explore.
There is a delightful forest trail in Mulranny which the kids adore. There is not much by the way of trees in Achill so woods only existed in their favourite book, The Gruffalo.
It comes to life for them in Mulranny as they look for their favourite characters the mouse, the fox and the owl. The search is ongoing. A picnic while we are there completes the fun.
And that’s only 15 minutes away. Wait until the start to discover just how big the world is and all there is to explore.

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