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.
That time of year again where everyone is making their “life changing” resolutions AND HERE IS ANOTHER ONE. Well, sort of. Change is a process not a flash solution. Innit. Isn’t it? Probably.
To recap my resolution of 2017 :
“to just keep doing the best I can. I am not super mom. But I have this super awesome kid. And although I yearn for the yesteryear where my rose tinted memories suggest I had no worries or responsibilities - this is where I am at.”
Pfffft, Nailed it! Hahaha. For reals though, I did begin finally asking for help in 2017 - whether it be 5 minutes to myself, or a date night with the husband. Only took two years, but I am stubborn. So I will continue to work on asking and receiving help regularly in the years to come.
For my 2018 resolution, I hope to work on my patience and to better handle situations with those who test it. I have not quite worked out as to how I will go about doing this, but I figure it will come to me - as and when needed. I hope!
Living with a toddler and alongside 6 teenagers (not to mention being inside a school and regularly interacting with hundreds of students) could test Ghandi’s patience. Some have called me quick witted - the same fast response I occasionally use when frustrated. It does not make the situation better, as a joke would, but leaves everyone a little taken aback.
So that is what I hope to work on this year. More patience for my daughter, more patience for my boarding sons, more patience for my family and more patience to everyone. As we are all trying our best, and sometimes things get on top of us. Breathe first, respond second. Otherwise emotions leap forward with a wollop.
Not an instructional blog but the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth - so help me Mom.