Empty Nest


So we went down to the South Coast for the long weekend, Uvongo to be exact, and we had such a good time with my parents and my sister, bro-in-law and their two boys. Those of you who read often will know the high value I place on family. We love to be together and we visit Durban as often as we can because my husband knows I need to see my family as often as possible. I also want to continue the legacy which my parents and grandparents have instilled in us – one of strong family ties, times of togetherness, and building into our relationships so that our children grow up knowing and loving their extended family of aunts, uncles and cousins. All the things I want my children to learn start first within the confines of family, don’t they? Love, kindness, generosity, genuine concern for the next person – it’s easy to teach and to learn when it’s with people you love. My hope is that this then spills over into the rest of their world – having learned to love within their family first. Of course, it isn’t so with every person you meet, family member or not, you may find that you just don’t click with some people, but generally I find my pie in the sky theory works, and I’m sticking to it. I think we all want to raise our children to be kind, loving and generous in spirit, right? Right.

So yes the weekend together was wonderful, the only negative being that it went too quickly. Then we left, and the kids stayed with their grandparents. It’s been two days and I miss them way more than I anticipated. Make no mistake, I do not miss the administrative duties that come with having small children. I do not miss bathing, changing, feeding, playing the referee, repeating myself ten times, reading the same story 20 times, being summoned 30 times after bedtime to make sure that the prince and princess are indeed sure that everything is suited perfectly to induce sleep. Boy, I am so grateful for being relieved of those duties, I ASSURE you! But in between those duties, there are laughs and tears, there are jokes and questions, there are hugs and kisses, there are long explanations of how things work and why digging your nose and constantly holding your pe.nis is not appropriate behaviour, there is the white noise of tiny feet running up and down the passage – and THIS is what I miss, I guess. Weirdly, I miss baby girl the most. I guess this is because I know she needs me more. Liam is our suave-smooth-talking-man-about-town, he is at an age where as long as his physical needs are met and there’s someone for him to chinwag into a coma, he is pretty much happy. Also, I KNOW Liam is doing ok because he couldn’t get rid of us fast enough. Over the weekend, he kept insisting that it was time for us to go back to Joburg and leave him alone! But Hannah still needs me, so I think, perhaps I am wrong. Hannah still seeks me out in a crowd and still looks back to see that I am there, the apron strings we share are still much shorter than the apron strings which bind Liam to me. She is my baby and I miss her!

But they are having a good time! And I know the time they spend with their grandparents is building into their lives and fortifying the foundations which we have tried to and continue to lay. And more than that, I know that when they are older, they will cherish the time they spent at Granny and Pa and Nana’s houses. I know even as an adult, I cherish the time I got to spend with my grandparents when they were still alive.

So what are WE doing without the kids, you ask? Well that’s a post for another day! I will say that it’s weird, it’s eerily quiet, and having to pee alone without any interruptions is oddly disconcerting. Who would have thought?

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