I stayed the night in Dublin and enjoyed a cocktail (or five) with my darling sister M; who happily came with me once she saw the names of speakers at the conference; I must confess I didn’t actually know who Rozanna Purcell was but after listening to her speak I began to fall in love with her spirit and love for what she does. My sister, on the other hand, knew everybody and was delighted with not only her fully packed, fully loaded goodie bag but the fact that she had her photo taken with Rozanna.
I was away from my boys all day Saturday and half a day Sunday. I wasn’t expecting to actually miss them…I needed this…I needed this mini break for me…I cannot remember the last night I had away from my boys.
But there it was; my phone looking at me as it sat on my lap. This surge of ‘mammy guilt’ ran through every fibre of my being… I had to make contact…I hadn’t checked in with them for over 2 hours now…I just had to and so I did what most mammies who finally get away from their darlings do …I made contact.
Quickly I typed a text and sent it to my husband. I tried to make it sound ‘light’; as he tends gives out stink to me for texting and ‘checking’ in too much when I am away from the boys.
I glanced around the room and saw nearly everyone on their phones obviously this being a conference they were tweeting, instagramming, snapchatting, face booking and what was I doing? I was being a typical mammy.
Hey, conference going great, some amazing speakers. How are the lads? X
We are all in the Garda station, Ethan may need a solicitor and the dictator has been removed from my custody …
Ha ha…seriously though, everything ok yeah?
What’s the pin for our joint account again… bribery ain’t working in this station
Hahha …let me send you a pic of me and M …tell the boys I miss them
Send the pic …enjoy the conference and enjoy time away from us..stop texting me
Ok..love ye and make sure Ethan has had all his meds
Which one is Ethan? P*** off and enjoy yourself X
And so I sat there thinking about my boys and wondering if D had remembered that Dee Dee uses different toothpaste from the other two and if he remembered Ethan will expect toast after his tea…
I was about to text again when my sister informed me that it was ‘wine time’. We headed upstairs and prepared for the award ceremony.
I rang my husband after we beautified ourselves( which took ages as we were amongst some of the best beauty and fashion bloggers in Ireland. The pressure to look half decent was huge!) I figured four hours of a gap in communication warranted an actual phone call.
“So we are ready to go and I even had time for a bath ! The rest of the conference was great, I really enjoyed Paddy Smyth and Timi speaking, loved the Gastro Gays too…so how is everything there?”
“We got bailed out , we are all home,” He giggled “I am delighted you got something from the conference…seriously Ger, the boys are grand and all in bed. I reckon you’ll win something ya know! Don’t forget if you do ring me, I won’t mind ya checking in then!”
It was my turn to laugh. “Sure sure, just like that time you had a feeling we were the millionaires the country were looking for months ago eh?”
We both laughed, said our good-byes and he wished me luck.
I was nominated for four awards; which meant and still means so much to me. I am writing just a year and have been sharing my pieces with anybody who will read them for almost a year.
We sat down to our meal. I was surrounded by such amazing people it was quite intimidating to be totally honest. I introduced myself to the lovely organiser Fiona who was running around making sure everything was running smoothly, we spoke briefly as she was being called elsewhere.
Of course the talk at our table was about what blog you write and how long for. Sometimes, I don’t know how to answer that …I don’t want to say something that will depress everybody.
I have fumbled over my words when describing my blog to people ( especially other bloggers, I get so nervous!) This time, however, I had rehearsed how I would describe ‘It’s Me Ethan’-
this may sound ridiculous but when you are in a room full of talented people that write similar pieces to you, you really should have something different to say when asked, and more importantly you should not fumble over your words!
“I write about my life, everything from my childhood right up to my life right now. My life is a little unusual mainly due to my eldest son Ethan, who the blog is named after. It is because of him, that I write.” — that is it – that is my best description of my blog.
The hosts for the night were James Tuohy and Alison Canavan while a very talented Ken Kirwan serenaded us! We were sitting very near Ken and really enjoyed his beautiful singing especially the classics! Cheers Ken!
The room fell quiet as the awards were handed out. Each time a category in which I was nominated in, my heart seemed to stop. Hope would rush through my body only to be gutted it wasn’t me making my way onto the stage… I have to say those who did receive awards were very deserving of them and gracious in their acceptance of them. “How many more categories are you nominated in?” My sister asked as she drank her free cocktail, ain’t that a nice touch?!
“Two, best new blog and best parenting blog, it’s highly unlikely though, I am far too new and I am so different ya know and Jayous, have ya read any of the talent in this room M, they are good, very good”
“And so are you Ger, I reckon you’ll win something” she raised her glass and we laughed. I enjoyed my drink and sat back as James announced that the best new blog of 2016 was…
“It’s Me Ethan”
“What did he say?” I asked the table, as my extremely proud sister pushed me out of my chair. “Go will ya ..oh my God you’ve won” my sister started snapping a million photos. They all clapped and cheered as I stood up and floated to the stage…I know I didn’t actual float but it sure felt that way. I was stunned.
I received my award from the lovely Ellen Gunning who was representing the Irish Academy of Public Relations. I must have thanked her a million times, she answered me by saving “Well deserved” which I am sure she may have said to everyone but it felt like a lovely thing to say and I could feel my emotions bubbling up as I pictured Ethan’s face.
I made my way back to our table, thanked everyone at the table and excused myself to ring my husband and my mammy , of course!
“Well, I just won Best New Blog!” I squealed before he could even say hello. “I bloody knew it! Dead proud of ya wife, dead proud. Ring your mammy!”
And so we chatted for five minutes before I rang my mammy.
“Well I knew it! M sent me a message as I was asking her the whole time. You’ve told D. Well didn’t I ring…” and like any good Irish mammy she had most of our family told already including aunts and uncles, she was very proud of her daughter who once upon a time confided in her mammy that all she wants to do is write.“Seems ye all knew but me mammy! Gotta go now and celebrate”
And we drank, ate and laughed the night away, well sort of…I was in my bed by 1am due to me being old and tired; I’ll tell ya it was a long day which began for us at 7am and yeah I am old.
It is an amazing feeling to win anything or even to be acknowledged by being nominated, but it wasn’t just me who won this award; it was and is Ethan’s award too …he is the reason people read, he is the reason people enjoy my tales and he is the reason I finally began to live a piece of my dream and write …(thank you my wonderful blue eyed baby boy X)
The next morning we were on the road at 12pm …I was excited to see my boys and to tell them how much they mean to me…I needed cuddles from the four most important men in my life and I really needed to make sure that they weren’t being held in a Garda station!
Seriously though I would like to-Thank you- to you the reader for nominating me and for coming along on our journey sharing the joy, the tears and the funny!
I would really like to give a huge Thank you to a website who was one of the first to give me a chance–Olivia and Jane at FamilyFriendlyhq you ladies are simply the best.
*no children were actually in any Garda station nor were any toddlers taken away from any parent during this short break away.
This was originally published on Familyfriendlyhq