This Thing That I Love

I miss my husband. How stupid. It’s not like he’s gone anywhere. No. This baffling creature, this kind soul, this giant love of my life is right here. And yet I miss him.

When our relationship started and the kids were younger, even though they all lived with us from the beginning, they tended to go away a little more often. They’d spend weekends and holidays with their other parents. Seamlessly flitting between two homes, giving us the alone-time to cultivate what I think is a pretty solid, albeit sometimes should we say volatile, marriage.

But the babies have grown. And their lives have settled quite firmly on our side of the fence. Which is fine, of course. It’s not like I’m under the impression that regular nuclear families are getting the weekends off from parenting. I’m aware that we were spoiled once upon a time, even though we aren’t so much anymore.

The thing is, though, that we miss being spoilt. Because being spoilt means “us” time and we love “us” time.

The other day, in the midst of a family vacation in Port Alfred, we wandered off for a walk on our own though. And it was quite glorious. That hour or so where we played with out camera’s and each other while taking in the sights around us and exploring someplace new. We strolled along the pier. Watched some oyster catchers. Observed the fisherman. And played photographer/model when we realised that the wind was doing crazy things to the dress I was wearing. Then I discovered the most infuriating setting on my bridge camera: Creative Mode (don’t do it – gosh you will go mad).

It was only for an hour and yet it was so good for us. And so I wonder if we should not perhaps just change our approach a little. Instead of thinking longingly of the days when our freedom was a little more flexible, we should instead look back on those days with gratitude (which we do) for those days played such a great role in turning us into the couple we are today. And then, instead of feeling sad, we should resolve to carve out new freedoms. More short walks, just the two of us. Because they still count.

Just because the “us” time doesn’t look the same as it used to doesn’t mean that it no longer exists.

We just need to embrace the change.

Travel Resolution: Road Trips with the Kids

Last year it so happened that we went on two road trips with our children. They were our first, which in hindsight is a bit weird, but it was only recently that I made the decision that I would like to live my life a little bit more like travellers do, even though I might be limited by my age, gender, marital status, financial status, and the fact that I have three kids.

Well, let me tell you a secret. We have been on a holiday or two with our kids. One where you drive to your destination, stay there for a few days, and then drive home. For me, they were hell. Whinging children. Constant sulking or fighting. No one coping with the idea that everyone can just relax now and do what they like: swim play read nap eat whatever. No. It does not work for us.

So I was happy (you guys: SO HAPPY) to discover that if I take my kids on a road trip instead of a specific destination it all works out MUCH BETTER. And I have on idea why. All that driving and everyone is content? For days? I don’t get it. I LOVE it. But I don’t get it.

I’m going to play with it more though. And we need to hurry up about it to because ol’ Thomas is getting old and he’ll be off to start his own life soon.

We need to get going.