Your little bed!

Welcome to the world, Little Shamrock (I don’t know your name yet, sorry!). I was just thinking today that we are both new to this place that is now your home. I guess the only major difference is that you’ve been here for about an hour, and I’ve been here a month today. So, let me just say from experience that you are a very lucky little baby to be born Irish in Ireland, because – as I have witnessed myself – you lot are quite special.

I wonder what kind of little Irish boy you will grow into; right now you are just a newborn and it’s overwhelming to think of all the different ways you’ll grow and change over the years. Will your hair be blonde, like your mother’s? Or dark brown like your daddy’s? Maybe you’ll develop a love of cars, just like your daddy (though I’m not sure how much more car stuff your mom can handle!), or perhaps you’ll cultivate a taste for sweets like your mammy. You’ll probably earn a nickname or two over the next several years…your mom used to call everyone “Chicken” as a term of endearment, and I’m willing to bet she’ll be calling you all sorts of cute names. She’s really sweet and motherly like that.

Your mammy and daddy, looking very Ralph Lauren

There are a few things that will be certain in your life: Your granny Nancy’s spaghetti Bolognese on Wednesdays, which will no doubt become one of your favorite meals; your parents’ love for you – something that will only continue to grow as you do; the fun times you’ll have with your warm-hearted yet naughty aunties Aoife, Sorcha and Aideen – you will grow up to be a tough little boy with those girls around, trust me, but you’ll find balance with your gentle and kind aunties Aine and Roisin; the family bond you’ll develop with your cousins Ayanna and Aaron back in America; your (very funny) uncle Earnan and (very stubborn) grandad Niall’s quest to make you a Man United fan, though your daddy will make sure you stick with Liverpool; an appreciation for hip-hop, courtesy of your uncle Tony; fun times in Belgium with your uncle Mark and auntie Anne. Oh and I almost forgot about your other uncle, Butsey, who despite his nickname looks very much like Matt Damon. Quite a big family you’ve gotten yourself into and I haven’t even mentioned any of your daddy’s four siblings and mother and all your new cousins, great aunts, uncles, etc., etc. Are you scared yet? I know it seems like a lot of people but trust me, they are all really cool.

Your mammy, just a few weeks before you were born

Being Irish, as I have come to learn, makes you quite unique. If you go abroad when you’re a bit older, the girls will swoon for your accent. You’re going to grow up with Irish pride and be unflappably optimistic even in the face of adversity – it’s just an Irish thing, I believe. You’ll probably sing a lot for no reason, and you’ll probably never be on time but the good thing about being in Ireland is that no one will care if you’re late (because they, too, will be late). Potatoes will be a big part of your diet, as will beer (when you’re a bit older, of course). So far, so good, right?

It’s so wild to think that, just yesterday, I visited your mom in the hospital and she was as cool as a cucumber. You should know that about your mom: she’s always graceful under pressure. And last night, I watched your daddy put your crib together. He was quiet and thoughtful in his work, and though he didn’t show it, I’m sure he had about a million things on his mind – all about you. You’ve really lucked out on parental front, you know. With your mother’s kind heart and your father’s sense of style, you’ve got the whole package.  

Daddy trying to figure out your crib

Anyway, I can’t wait to see you grow up and hear your cute Irish accent develop and witness your little life flourish into a big one. And oh, what a BIG life you will have!