Abandoning My Children

img_1628I think I have only left my children overnight once with Hubby.  I went to a lovely wedding in Scotland.  I think that I spent weeks preparing for it.  The right food in the fridge – the stuff you can just put in the oven and know everyone will eat.  The right activities planned to keep everyone occupied and happy. House clean, tidy, clothes washed, ironed – everything done.

This time I left them for nearly 3 weeks to go home to Australia because of my Dad (see last week’s post) and I only had 3 hours notice!  In that time, I had to pack, find passports, find all the Christmas presents from Santa, sort into 2 x black bin bags and hide them in the shed, shower, get dressed and go!

So, the house was not clean and tidy and the clothes were not washed and ironed.  There were no activities planned.  The fridge was full of fresh food, for cook from scratch recipes.

Hubby was in for an exciting time!

As a control freak it is a huge thing to have to hand over the reins to someone for so long, with no preparation.  But there was nothing I could do about, nothing I could say and I just had to go.  There was so much happening in Australia, that I really didn’t have time or the heart to even think about what was going on at home.  I had to trust and I had to let go of those reins.

And they survived and so did I.

They were a little feral – overtired and full of sugar, badly dressed.  But they were semi-clean and the house was clean and the washing was done.

Things were a little untidy and I am still finding stuff that was put back in the wrong place.

The fridge was full of junk food and oven food.  But it had food in it.

Not bad Hubby, not bad at all!

Were they glad to see me – oh yes.  Do they like being back to Mummy routine – oh yes.  Have they forgotten completely all their gratefulness that I was back and have started taking advantage of Mummy again – oh yes.

But I am grateful for the experience of abandoning my children – I am glad we all just got on and dealt with it all.  I am also grateful that I got to spend some time with my sister, mother and family as a grown up with no kids – that was quite nice and something I could do again (but not for the same reason of course.)

And I have a new threat to yell at the children when they are driving me mad – “DO YOU WANT ME TO GO AWAY AGAIN!”  Works a treat!

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Overwhelmed

20161227_092942I haven’t written for a while, as I have had a rather dramatic and traumatic time.  I have had to fly back to Australia, because my father passed away.  It is a story that I want to write about at a later date, because it was a time of poignancy, drama, heart wrenching sadness, bizarre events and even hilarity.  But I can’t just at the moment … if you are interested google “Cairns” and “Taipan Snake Bite”, as the whole saga went viral.

What I do want to write about is kindness….

Overwhelming kindness, generosity, gentle hugs, comforting food, beautiful words and wonderful, wonderful, extraordinary people.

From the moment, everything happened and my sister and I flew across the world, our family has been surrounded and supported by the most amazing sense of caring and love.

All we see in the news is bad politics, awful wars, racism, violence etc. etc. etc.  But things like my dad passing away has reminded me that at the grass roots level, at the people dealing with people level, the world is full of an abundant spirit of generosity and a depth of friendship and support. And we should remember that …. all of us … all of the time.  On a day to day basis most people are just wonderful.

So why am I waffling on like a greeting card.  Am I being over the top sentimental.  No … no I am not, I have just experienced the most overwhelming few weeks of incredible thoughtfulness and benevolence.

People brought us food, people came and cooked for us, people asked us to come eat with them.

Beautiful flowers, chocolates and cards from all over the world.

Facebook messages, private messages, text messages, emails, phone calls – lots of which we didn’t have the time to respond to, but I hope everyone knows we are grateful.  One friend in particular, has really touched my heart.  She just kept checking in on me, to see if I was okay.  She is dealing with the passing of her own father just recently, but she still had the time to worry about me!!

One friend abandoned her family and flew up from down south to be with us.  She cleaned and tidied and spent lots of time wandering around with platters of food, but most importantly she was just there, in all her kindness and wonderfulness – I will never ever forget that.

My uncle was by my Mother’s side at the hospital the next morning and his wife was there the next day.  As it took my sister and I, two days to cross the world, this is something that I will be forever grateful for.  And for his children to join him at the funeral was so touching, plus they were mean whisky pourers at the wake.

My old work colleagues were all at the funeral, all in their uniforms, straight from work.  They didn’t really know Dad, but they were there for me and it was so wonderful to see them.

People mowed lawns, cleaned, sorted things out, took things to the dump – all without asking, all because they wanted to, all because they are kind. (And they continue to do so, whilst Mum is sorting things out to come to the UK.)

The lady in the Bank – was like an angel, she gently helped with everything and gave Mum the courage to face things on her own. I was so touched, I went around her desk and gave her a hug!

Lots of lovely friends who just popped in for a cup of tea and brought cakes, or came to the wake and shared our celebration of Dad’s life.

I really could go on and on.  It was really so overwhelming and I kept asking myself why are these people doing all this for us.  But I realised that there is no real reason, it’s just that when it comes down to it, most people are just nice and kind and thoughtful and in our day to day bustle to get on with life, we sometimes forget that.

I won’t now, ever.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart, all you very nice people.