Just watching Masterchef with Kathryn, with both girls in bed (since 7:15). It’s the day after I got home from my latest swing, which was Kathryn’s first swing on her own with the girls; eight days being outnumbered 2:1 by kids under two years old. Well done to her, she’s a champ!
When Kathryn and I were offered the opportunity to move here for this job, we had quite a few discussions about how having me work away from home would be tough. Not like, “oh, this is less than ideal”, but actually truly difficult – the kind of difficulty you can’t just shrug off and tell yourself to get over. Then we found out that Kate was on the way, and we decided to seize the opportunity in spite of that added responsibility. I think this swing did give us the first taste of true difficulty, with Kathryn having some moments of tears for all in the house (her, Eden, and Kate), and with me feeling a bit at a loss as to how I could help in any way, and feeling guilty about being away from it all.
By the end of the swing Kathryn was feeling more optimistic, the girls were in a pretty good rhythm, and we had survived it. Big thanks to a couple of our Perth friends who went out of their way to make sure Kathryn had supplies and company, particularly on Mothers Day. I was missing the girls like crazy, but was picked by my supervisor to go home early since they needed a ute at the airport by 1pm. I surprised Kathryn by showing up at the front door around 5pm, the time I was supposed to be flying out of Newman. It was great to see them all just that little bit earlier.
So how are things going, really? Honestly, I think they’re going well, but I’m also a pretty much inextinguishable optimist. Despite missing the girls, I enjoy my job as much as any I’ve had. The work is hard, probably the hardest work I’ve done physically, with days often consisting of many hours of rushed work in the sun and dust, and that’s what I enjoy the most. I’m surprised Eden recognizes me on skype some nights, I’m that filthy.
And when I asked Kathryn just now how she thinks she’s doing, she said, “Umm… ok. Write ok with an “ay”, I don’t like it with just an o and a k”… so let me restart: “Umm….okay.” When I asked her to elaborate, she continued, “It’s been tough, and exhausting, but once we got into a routine we were doing pretty well.” When I prodded further about how she’s feeling in the present tense, she said, “sleepy.”
So, yeah. I guess, here’s the big difference I’ve noticed in myself. In the past, I’ve enjoyed my time with family and also sought out social activities where time permitted. I liked to get out and hang out with the guys now and then, play some board games or videogames or sports, but lately I just feel like I have no time for that. Not that I have no time literally, more like I have no interest, or what interest I do have in it is subservient to my desire for family time. The same goes for facebook, reading, and yes…blogging. I just want to make the most of the time I have with my girls.
So the lack of posts isn’t because I’ve stopped thinking about the many heart-wrenching quandaries of life, or that we’ve stopped doing interesting things and seeing amazing sights (quite on the contrary!), it’s just that for the first time in my life I’m truly realizing the value of each minute with my family, and it’s my highest priority.
You really ought to see some videos and photos of the girls though, they’re so cute and fun, and growing at almost the same rate as the weeds in our garden beds (argh! at last Eden likes to ‘help’ with the gardening). We’ll post some of that stuff sooner or late, maybe even later in this break.
Australia is fantastic, you should come live here. Seriously. Just do it. Then we’ll spend time together, and you’ll know all about our lives and adventures. But in case you can’t arrange that, stay tuned, but be patient. I’ll catch up on the blog when the kids have moved out 🙂