26 August 2021: It’s been a long time coming


Today I sent off my application for Irish citizenship. Having first moved here way back in 1995 (yeah, I’m old), it’s been a long time coming. But, here it is! Or rather, there it goes via registered post.

And now the anxious wait begins.

Preparing the final packet last night and this morning has me in a very reflective mood. For anyone who follows this blog or who knows me personally, it doesn’t take much for me to be reflective (you can stop laughing at me now).

Anyway, this morning my thoughts are with my Grandmother, Mae. She was the child of immigrants. English was the second language in her childhood home, not the first language. I wonder now, how did that shape her and, in turn, how did it shape my Mother, her daughter?

Being only a couple of generations from an immigrant, and being one myself, I then wonder how does that shape me as a parent and my sons as young adults in the world?

Surely it impacts our worldview, both in a smaller community context and the world at large.

And I think that is a good thing indeed.

My Mother had asked her mother to teach her the native language she grew up with, but my Grandmother told her no, you are to speak English. And so it was, my Mother never learned Norwegian. It’s taken years but I’m still trying to make up for that by learning the language of my Grandmother. After all, it’s never to late to learn new things, right?

So, here I am in Ireland, my closest relatives are those in Norway, I’ve just sent off my application for Irish citizenship, I’m learning and teaching my son Declan how to speak Norwegian while he also learns Irish and Spanish in school, and I’m reflecting on all of it; reflecting on my Grandmother and my Mother, both long passed away now and wondering what they would say to me about anything and everything? Like I said, a lot to reflect upon today.

What a day it is.

Me with a photo of min bestemor, my Grandmother, Mae

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