It was a warm summers evening, things were just normal, except there was a sense of urgency in the air. An urgency to make everything stop, to make the hours of this evening stop ticking by. In the morning we would be facing a whole new normal, the first day of this new adventure of being a FIFO bound family. But for right now, we were trying to put that to the back of our thoughts. For right now we would concentrate on this moment.
It was far too quiet.
I’m always careful about quiet in my house, it usually means that someone is up to something. I know this from experience.
Once my then two year old had allowed me to read too much of my magazine uninterrupted before I found he had decided to flood the bathroom by filling up the basin and washing his teddy bear with his dads toothbrush. Today I half expected to find something similar.
I knew the baby was asleep, so I wasn’t worried about him, but mr four, well he has abilities these days, and sometimes I underestimate those abilities. Creeping around the house I thought I could catch him in the act, but Instead I see him sitting at the front door. He seemed content, so I decided to leave him and carry on.
A load of washing, dishes and some vaccuming later I notice he is still there, sitting and watching each car as it goes by. Turning off the vacuum, I sat down next to him and asked him what he was doing. A beautiful smile came across his face and he said ‘waiting for daddy’. My heart sank.
‘Daddy won’t be home for a few more days son’. Tiny little tears of disappointment dropped down his cheeks and he put his face in his lap and said ‘but you told me he would be home soon!’.
This is one of the struggles of doing fifo, fifo with young children. Children that don’t quite grasp the concept of time, grasp the concept of weeks or days or what soon really means. This isn’t a once off moment, it probably happens at least once a stint. This doesn’t just affect Mr Four though, my now one year old currently thinks his uncles who are sporting similarly well groomed beards as Mr Fifo husband are his dad. He will crawl over to them, tug at their legs and cuddle into their shoulders.
So why would I share this?
A few weeks ago we took our sons to a beach lookout near our home and watched the sun set. Their dad pretended to point out whales and sharks in the ocean for our Mr Four while the baby sat intently observing the waves crashing on the shore. We both looked at each other and talked about how lucky we were to live in such a beautiful place, and how fortunate we were to be able to raise our children here.
Like most parents we want to give our children as many opportunities and experiences in life that we can, we want to instil wholesome values in them and try and raise them to be respectful, kind, loving people. But what if we fail. What if we are doing everything completely wrong, what if the way we think it should be done is the wrong way? and what if we make all the wrong choices?.
Today Mr Four pointing to our world globe asked me where his daddy was. After a few spins, and a few guesses of here, and here and a few answers of “no son” that’s Russia, or that’s Switzerland, or that’s Ethiopia, we finally found where his daddy was. Placing a gold star over his daddies ‘work place’ he then asked me why daddy had to go away for a long, long, long time?. I knew he would ask me one day, and I thought It would be a few more months down the track, so that I could think of a more kid friendly, understandable answer. But I told him the truth. Sometimes we have to have a little bit of hard, to have a lot of easy. I don’t think he really got it, and I don’t think it really altered his day, but it got me thinking. Why did I send your daddy away?
Three months ago, my husband sat quietly in the car staring at his children in the rear view mirror as we took our first long drive to our first airport drop off. We tried to keep the conversation light, and talk to our four year old about all the fun things we would do when daddy got home, but in the end Mr Four and the baby were both fast asleep at the very moment that my husband had to say goodbye. I watched as he kissed both of their heads with tiny beads of his own tears dropping on their cheeks. At that moment I thought the same thing. Why am I sending your daddy away?
When I married my husband years ago we were over the moon, crazy in love. We only wanted to be with one another, we didn’t care about anything else and only had time for each other. Seven years, two children, a world of responsibilities and a very hectic lifestyle later has meant that has had to change.
If you had told me on my wedding day all those years ago, that one day I would be living by myself with our two children almost 90% of the time, while my husband worked hundreds of miles away and we would only spend 84days of 365days a year with each other I would have told you where to go. But that is our reality, and it is the reality for so many other mothers and families that I know – it has some what become a new normal.
My mother has recently been talking to me a lot about Ripple effects.
Ripple effects with friends and family, at church, or at work; and how one decision, one choice or one moment can have a ripple effect to something else. This morning as I sit here, I think about the events of the past few weeks and months that rippled its way to the events of the past 24hours. Sometimes the ripples we make are small and we don’t notice them until we see the end result, sometimes the ripples are more like waves crashing down.
Well my ripples, my choices made one giant wave yesterday. One I won’t forget for a long time. To understand why I made the decisions I made yesterday, lets go back a few weeks. To where the ripples really began. Continue reading “Motherhood: Life’s little ripples…..”