I hate goodbyes at the best of times. Saying goodbye to my family and friends here in Perth is harder this time than I thought it would be. I thought it would be easier this time. Easier because we will be back in seven weeks. Easier because I know that I have visitors just around the corner. Easier because we’ve been away longer this time and so surely I must be ready to go back. I’m not really, ready that is. And it’s harder, and I’m not sure why.
I miss Ni, of course, and I’m excited to watch him rediscover our girl who has changed so much in this past month. She has learned to “kiss” and to walk around furniture. She’s mastered the art of crawling up a few stairs and saying “mama.”She eats three meals a day now. She can drink out of my water glass easily when I hold it for her. She is a real pro with both biting and chewing food. She has changed so much, she has slimmed out a little too, with all of this action her little shape is changing. Starting to look less like a baby and more like a toddler. She’s growing up too fast, some days I just dig in my heels and try to find the time to just sit. Just sit and watch her, part of me rejoicing in her new achievements and a little part of me shedding a tear for the baby she no longer is. All of these firsts bring with them so many lasts. And I know her daddy misses her terribly. So I’m looking forward to their reunion. Looking forward to it for Bo who doesn’t really know any different just yet but will once she sees him again.
But for me? For me I’m stuck in a seemingly existential crisis that I am always stuck in. Torn between one home and another. Torn between one need and another. Torn between one state of mind and another. I want to be here. I don’t want to go back to isolation and loneliness and difficulties. I don’t want to go back to the stress over Visa’s, to the cultural challenges. I don’t want to. But I do. I do want to go back to a simpler world, to escape the expense and material push of this Western world. I do want to go to the quiet.I do want to go back to my relationship, to try to make it stronger. To find change and to have help. I want the peace. The sweet dense tropical air. So I’m torn. I don’t know how I feel about going back. So I’m torn. On one hand I’m not ready to back and on the other, I’ve been ready for weeks. I honestly still don’t know where I want to be. But it’s not just about me anymore and I don’t have the same choices as I once did. So I pack. I pack our comfort foods and blankets. I pack Bo’s favourite books and toys. I wrap our belongings and tuck them alongside each other for what feels like the hundredth time… displaced again. In between one place and another – the only constant in it all, each other. With the hope that maybe this month what we need will become clear, the direction our family will take as one unit will show itself. And for the first time ever, in our family history, we will have a united direction. One can hope… and hope I do.
Whether I want to go or not, or whether tonight I’m just having a bad night when I write this… regardless of this as you read this we will be somewhere between here and there. We may not have quite left yet. We may be enjoying our last few precious moments with family and friends. OR packing bags. Or napping. We might be on our late night flight somewhere over the ocean perhaps. Or already in Indonesia en-route to the village. I find a little solace knowing that in a few short weeks a friend will visit for a few days along with her own little bub, and that a few weeks after that my sister and the little boy who graces these pictures sometimes, my gorgeous nephew, will come to stay. Those connections to home… those moments where I don’t feel so alone are moments I’m already salivating over… and I haven’t even left yet.
Where ever we are, there we will be.