Cold sweat forms on my brow as I carefully look over the information on the screen. I go to push the button and the last decade flashes through my mind. My head begins to float as I try to remember purchasing my first one-way ticket to London.
But I can’t.
I remember selling my car to pay for it. I remember having to purchase it last minute. I remember thinking how foolish I was for not saving more over the last year. I remember sitting with my parents trying to both “kill” time and make it stop while waiting in the airport before the first leg of my journey. I remember trying to burn my families’ images, voices and embraces into my brain. I remember trying not to cry too much and to focus on the moments ahead.
I remember trying to appear strong but feeling like I was made out of sugar glass.
Things are very different in America now. As am I. A girl left but now will return as a woman. Have I changed for the better? How has my family members changed? How has the job market changed? How has the political atmosphere altered? These are all things running through my head.
It’s bought. Three one way flights to the U.S. It’s happening. BLIMEY. Not that this is a spur of the moment decision. We have discussed it for years, it took 14 months for us to go through the Visa process, several months of downsizing / packing up family possessions and a month to make Peaches an American citizen. So. This is happening!!!
Wait, I’m confused, what is happening…..
...oh let me explain. In July my South African partner and British daughter are moving to America with me. There will be some alterations to the blog/instagram as we transition. Some further delays in posting may be possible (as we do not even own laptops anymore… whhhhhhhhat. #DOWNSIZING). But. I will keep the writing up - in whatever form it may evolve into. I am still a dummie. The writing will continue, I hope you dear reader, will come along for the ride.
My writing has been a little lost since we began our boarding adventure. Our current living situation plays a large part of that, most of my writing about boarding life is kept private to protect those under our care.
So that is one excuse. Another is illness - I seem to catch everything that goes around the school. Germs, germs, germs. Cannot totally escape them. The plus side? Peaches should have one hell of an immune system!
My third excuse is mourning.
My paternal Grandfather passed away. He knew it was coming and was more ready than we, his family. He would have good days and bad days battling from inside a hospital bed in Texas. For 56 Days I shifted between sporadic crying, optimism, and of just feeling numb. Days where my daughter grew up just a little. Kids are intuitive, knew she needed to put those pudgy arms around my neck, gently rub my shoulder and ask if I as “Okay mum? Okay?” I am not.
I am now Grandpa-less.
Peaches had yet to and now will never meet him. That bothers me.
What bothers me the most is that I spent so much time being angry with him. For what? I am not entirely sure. I can only guess that I thought he owed me something, because instead of sticking around our home state year-round, he decided to travel. How dare he, right? How dare he live his life to the fullest, instead of waiting around for his growing grandchildren to decide to visit every blue moon.
I can only think that this anger was due to my childhood ignorance, my selfishness but also because of the great memories of holidays spent at theirs. I felt they were denying me more memories.
Kids always want more.
The ones I have are full of love. He was a good dude. A genuinely GOOD DUDE. He was funny, kind, open minded, generous, silly, intelligent, creative and an artist. He was a lot of things to a lot of people. Including a brilliant partner of 67+ years to my Grandmother. My GPA loved and was loved fully in return.
I would like to share a quote from one of his favourite books, “Breakfast of Champions” by Kurt Vonnegut.
“A flying saucer creature named Zog arrived on Earth to explain how wars could be prevented and how cancer could be cured. He brought the information from Margo, a planet where the natives conversed by means of farts and tap dancing. Zog landed at night in Connecticut. He had no sooner touched down than he saw a house on fire. He rushed into the house, farting and tap dancing, warning the people about the terrible danger they were in. The head of the house brained Zog with a golfclub.”
He would bring this part up frequently in our discussions on life, but he could never stop himself from giggling.
In a bittersweet realisation I have just had - it is about a failure of communication.
Peaches is entering nursery, or daycare if you will, very soon. Before officially starting nursery there are “settling in”, or taster, sessions. My partner took her to the first session - two hours long, he answered some developmental questions and watched her play (and almost completely ignored him). She took to it quickly and did not want to leave “school”.
I did not really know what all that or this meant. As everything is theoretical until put into practice first hand.
30 minutes ago I experienced it first hand. Woke her up from a nap telling her it was time for school, she squealed with delight and quickly got dressed. (What the what?! How is it suddenly not a fight to dress her?) We walked over, signed in, went into her designated classrooms and boom - off she went. I got an occasional glance, but not one with any kind of recognition. Suddenly I am Jo Nobody in her little world.
The nursery team let me know I could leave whenever I felt comfortable, and I could have left right then. But no. Instead I awkwardly stood around, looked at things on the wall, said hello to the children staring at me. If they could communicate better, I am pretty sure they would have said - “take a hint weirdo”.
No goodbye, I just slipped out of the room, signed out of the building and walked. Alone. Back into the school. (Stopping to give my husband a “WTF Time to Myself Boogie”.
Time to myself…. Especially unplanned time to myself.
What do I, how do I, should I….
I am lost.
And I guess that is what this, after two solid years of full time stay at home mum-dom, is going to be all about for me. She gets to socialise, grow, experience from outside my peripheal vision… and I get to.. relocate me. Check back in with that stranger who after a 32 year relationship took a backseat.
How do I even start? Sorry I ditched you, bae, you know I love you.
***Editor’s note : Children just love to prove you wrong, two days after I wrote this up Peaches broke out with impetigo.... so that was fun. Since she has recovered and returned to nursery she is having separation issues. Which is less fun than seeing her independently walk into the classroom of her peers.
Not an instructional blog but the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth - so help me Mom.