So many people in Canberra are from somewhere else. Our somewhere else is further than most – a five hour plane flight and two time zones.
I have been feeling the distance more since we got pregnant. A LOT more since he was born. Of course we get visits, and we love them, but..
There’ll never be a time when I can nip round to my Mum’s house, crash on the couch and say ‘the baby didn’t sleep last night.’
The baby will grow up without a knot of cousins and aunties around him.
I won’t be able to give casual parenting advice (and hand-me-downs) to my sisters.
On the upside, we’ve recieved so many parcels in the mail this month that the posty knows my name. The baby has already been given more outfits that he can wear, and enough soft toys to fill his crib. And people have written such sweet, beautiful messages – the sort of thing people never say to your face.
Next week we head back, so the baby can meet his grandma, all his uncles and aunties, and everyone else. I expect he’ll be treated as a princeling, as befits the first grandchild in either family. He might even get to meet his great-grandparents.
As for me? I’m just about buzzing with excitement. The baby won’t know, might not ever know, what it’s like to grow up smothered in a big, noisy, nosy extended family. But for me, to be back where everybody loves each other just because, and the jokes have lasted longer than generations, and food and stories and laughter and tears are shared without thinking, without self-consciousness… my family is the ground I walk on.
I can’t wait.