After six flights, three countries, two competitions and one epic memory, we are home.
My three children and I travelled to Glasgow for the World Irish Dance Championships where my two sons were competing. Our first flight to Dublin was delayed which caused us to miss our connecting flight to Glasgow. I sprinted through the airport with three kids in tow, abandoning the luggage carousel, to try and find four new seats to the city that was expecting 20,000 visitors that week for the Worlds.
Always look for the helpers I thought. A lovely lady named Louise told me that all the flights to Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen were sold out. Then she worked away on her computer for 20 minutes and got us a flight to Birmingham, England where we had to wait for six hours before we could then fly on to Glasgow. She phoned the man in the luggage department and he had found our bags. He retagged them for our new journey. And we finally got to our destination… twelve hours late.
But we were ready. I always marvel at the idea of flying across the ocean to dance for a few minutes. The hours of practice and sacrifice. The dance studio drop offs and pick ups. The mental preparation. And then the time comes for you to walk out onto the World stage. With 14 international judges watching. The music starts. Your moment arrives.
Although my oldest son didn’t recall for a medal in his solo competition, he had the gift of feeling that he couldn’t have done more. He felt he danced better than he ever danced before. And he has no regrets. Then both boys competed in teams and their group came 8th in the World.
That is a memory that will never be forgotten. From the World stage in Glasgow we headed to Ireland to spend Easter with family. Egg hunts and baby lambs. Chocolates and sleepovers. Home-cooked meals and birthday celebrations. The next generation of cousins have planted seeds that will hopefully bloom into lifelong friendships. With memories that will colour the tapestry of their lives.
A magical adventure. To a place where the milk is creamier, the fire is forever burning, and tea always comes in a pot.
I hope my children never forget that anything is possible and family is everything.