Loyalty and Allegiance

International sporting fixtures provoke a huge, emotional outpouring in our household! Being a family of two nationalities growing up in a third culture with kids who are sports crazy makes for interesting times on any level. Cue a family contested contest: battle lines are drawn and the family splits to set up camp on one side or the other.

To the kids, nationality has nothing to do with parental nationality but rather all to do with place of birth! Applying this diktat, DD and DS1 who were born in London are English and DS2 who was born in Dublin, is Irish. Expect a glare of disapproval if you suggest for one second that they are Irish/English or English/Irish…….

Needless to say the recent annual 6 Nations (England, France, Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales) rugby tournament caused quite a stir in our household. At the start of this year’s tournament I noticed a minor shift in the hereto allegiances….’English’ DD and DS1 seemed open to supporting Ireland without feeling any sense of betrayal to their ‘home’ nation, to the point that by the final game of the tournament DS1 had donned his Irish rugby kit!! I suspect this turnaround may have had something to do with the fact that Ireland returned to this year’s tournament as champions ready to defend their title whilst proving to the world that they are serious World Cup 2015 contenders – the Twins couldn’t possibly have DS2 laud it over them if Ireland were to retain the title, so they cleverly hedged their bets!

Off to a good start, Ireland steamrolled over their early competition. Winning against France in France was immense; psychological barrier smashed. Phew! Anything is now possible!

Then came Wales…..Always a tough match…especially when it is in Wales. Emotionally charged. Painful. Knife edge. Hard to take. 23-16….How did that happen???

Breaking the news to my increased Ireland in house fanbase the following morning was not the easiest!

‘Mummy!’ bawled DS2 with a ferocity I had never witnessed.

‘I am taking out the 1/16th Welsh from me’ he announced whilst wriggling around as if he were genuinely trying to entice evil from his soul with his bony fingers.

Being 100% Irish, I did not see a problem with this….indeed, it left a gap which could be filled with more Irish!

Not so. DS2 had other plans.

‘I am replacing the Welsh part with FRANCE!!!’…..

Slightly disappointed. Slightly confused. Why France?

But hey! France is a beautiful country, with amazing food, fab temperatures (for summer and winter skiing!), great vino and some pretty good rugby…..how could I argue with that????

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