For us, 2017 was a year of catching-up with our children, friends and family spread out across the globe and we made the most of those moments !!! It took more than 6–9 months worth of planning and making arrangements, just under 4 months worth of travelling around by plane, trains and cars, then lots of hugs, kisses, joys and constraints— and finally a few click of the heels on aeroplanes — and it was all over.
We learnt many things on this trip and were absolutely astounded to take a stock of how much our world has changed. Looking at things through our children’s (and our grandchildren’s) lenses, we definitely experienced being of the ‘dinosaur’ age 😏 .
Nevertheless, many of the joys of relationships, bonding over shared likes and dislikes and just the day to day living routines, thankfully, remain predominantly changeless and give us the reason to celebrate life.
Our grandsons, our eldest daughter’s (and son-in-law’s) delightful duo, kept us on track in England with their Paw Patrol and Blaze TV characters, their love for train tracks, the outdoors and so much more. We enjoyed watching them and having all the ‘Nana’ times with them that we miss so much in Brisbane.
Then an onward journey to LA filled us with with great excitement and expectations at the birth of our second daughter and son-in-law’s first baby – and we were not disappointed. On the contrary we lived through the most magical of moments when our third grandson beamed his smile (and life) into our hearts forever.
We loved our children’s hospitality especially those ‘cooking-in’ evenings and very especially our ‘Nana’ times with the grandsons.
Our far-reaching journey for this year was rounded up nicely with a short but very pleasant trip to Denmark to spend time with our son and his girlfriend. We were blessed beyond measure with their hospitality as well, and spent much quality time with them. This part of the world is very new to us, but one in which our son is very much at home. May God keep them and guide them always.
In between all of that, as mentioned in the beginning, we had some very precious catch-ups with close family and friends. It was something of a feat for all of us to negotiate our transport routes and timings in order to meet up – but it was definitely worth the effort!!! Invariably there were disappointments of not being able to catch-up with some family members as time and spread of travel became the biggest constraints.
I read something when I came back to Brisbane which sums it all up for me and which resounds with my own heart beat as I think of all my children, loved ones and loved friends, now separated from us by distance – out across the seven seas. As parents of kids overseas, we bear the ever-present ‘ache of separation’.
The never-ending emptiness of our ‘nest’ seems to hover over our lives continuously especially when we watch on enviously at other parents lives revolving around visits to and from their adult children’s homes, locally or even inter-state. We watch and observe happy and fun-filled interactions within their family progressions, growth and events – and the ache in our hearts grows wings and flutters menacingly in the forest of our emotions.
We bear the heartache of separation and the expense, difficulty, a million arrangements, logistics, dynamics and strains of catch-ups – and even good-byes. Yet in spite of that, we know that we are blessed indeed to ‘discover and carry the tune of our love and relating’ even out across to the three different parts of the globe where our children are now. Yes, the landscape of our family life is now stretched beyond our wildest dreams. We experience the joys and adventures of visiting new places, as well as the constraints of nurturing family ties as parents and grandparents of kids overseas.
And that is the tune of our song, our life, our love and our desire as we get to grips with being parents of kids overseas.