Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Homeward Bound

So it is only 8.00 pm and all is quiet in the world of Watsons, Mike has fallen asleep next to Lola whilst trying to get her to sleep and the other two flaked it as soon as their heads hit the pillow, I finally have a little time alone. Now, whilst travelling, I seems that I have all the time in the world but I have less time for myself, there seems to not be a minute in the day when I don’t have someone around me, there is nowhere to hide in the camper, not even from yourself., there is no other ‘life’ distractions, just the here and now. As I try to reconcile the person I am, I have been for the last 6 months with the person I am at home I am flooded with questions….will I be this relaxed when I get home, will the same things that bothered me at home, bother me when we get home, will I still be plagued by indecision and unhappiness with some parts of my life, or will I just not care anymore.

Will the questions that once kept me up all night still be there when I am home, or will there now be answers, logical thoughts a PLAN.  Whilst travelling for the last couple of months, I have wound down, so much so I think I have nearly stopped thinking, I have relaxed so much, enjoyed just being in the moment, being with Mike and the kids,  not planning anything, not having to be responsible for anything except our little family.

As the kilometers clock up and the line on the map pointing home gets shorter, I find myself conflicted about my return home. I am a little anxious about returning home to a life without a job, without a purpose other than me and my family, also a little excited to start a new chapter of our life afresh.

I am excited to be planning future adventures around Australia, adding places to return to and places we didn’t get to onto the list. I am looking forward to the many trips to camping expos, caravan places and researching where we will go, what we will upgrade to, what lessons we have learnt from our first expedition to not repeat again.

I have loved nearly every moment of this trip. I have loved the anonymity of moving on every few days, of no-one not really knowing you, but I have also loved the feeling of seeing someone you have met before at the caravan park, the instant connection of recognizing a face in an unfamiliar surrounding. I have loved meeting new families who are on the road also, conversing about where you have been, where you are going,  the different journey each of you have travelled to get to that destination. I have loved the serenity of the outdoors, of watching my little girl so happily playing outside, picking up sticks and stones to show me just how magical the outdoors really is. I have embraced the heat of the North, not caring about how sweaty I might be or get, just doing whatever it was that I wanted. I have loved wearing shorts nearly every day for 5 months, feeling the heat on my bare skin and not caring to cover up from the hot sun. I have loved watching my kids play, make friends, laugh so hard until they could burst. I love watching Mike play with the kids, seeing them light up with his stupid games. I love that they groan everytime he says ‘Hi starving I[m dad’, when one complains, “I’m starving”. I love seeing how the kids work through their frustration of being bored, of being sick of each other. I particularly love watching Scarli annoy Oscar as it reminds me of how annoying I must have been to my brothers. (I couldn’t possibly have been that bad!)  I wonder how many times worse my precious Lola will be by the time she starts to annoy Oscar.

I love that Lola’s first words are based upon birds, fish, trees, sky….I love that Lola doesn’t even have to say a word to get her message across,  a look, a grunt and she has the whole family running to be on her beck and call. I love that Lola no matter where we are always puts her shoes on and heads for the door, she will not be kept inside for a long period of time! I love that she has her first bubba that she loves, puts blankie’s over, cuddles and kisses, and defends from Scarlett trying to steal her away. My Lola has grown into such a big girl on this trip, not my little baby anymore.

I love that Scarlett is fearless and fuelled by the excitement of what the day may bring.  She is so full of life and ready for adventure, If you suggest anything with the right tone to your voice, Scarlett will be up for it, she is the first to jump to action, her eyes lit up at the simple thought of doing something with you. No matter how stubborn and obstinate she is, no matter how much she pushes my buttons I always remember just how similar we are and enjoy her spirited nature! I hope that I will remember to be like her more often.

I love that Oscar is quietly determined, a little shy and reserved, but bursting with questions and an inquisitive nature once he is comfortable in his surroundings. I love that he is such a caring brother to his sisters, he is gentle and kind. I love that he is protective and caring of the people and things he loves. I love that although he never wants to go anywhere or do anything, by the time we get ‘somewhere’ he is the first out and exploring the situation, the first to run into the waves, or finding the walking tracks, making cubbies in the scrub and climbing the tallest trees. I love that he too like me, loves his own company, needs his time to himself to play, think and wonder.

I have loved spending time with my children, I love watching Scarlett and Oscar play and Scarlett trying so hard to keep up with Oscar and Lola trying so hard to keep up with Scarlet and Oscar. I love that when you ask Scarlett a question her answer is always ‘whatever Oscar is having/doing).

I will not miss my heart skipping a beat when I hear a car coming and I have lost my line of vision on Lola. I will not miss the morning dash to the loo in my jammies, braless and busting. I will not miss getting up to wee in the middle of the night and the coldness of the night air. I will not miss Scarlett saying she needs to go to the toilet 5 min after I have returned, I  will not miss the bites all over me that have left my legs looking like a scarred join the dots puzzle. I will not miss the the screams of boredom from the kids in the back of the car, Lola constantly trying to ‘hudini’ out of her car seat on the long drives.

I will miss the nights of laughter with my kids when they danced around tent poles and had competitions who could dance the longest. I will miss not knowing what day of the week it was and that being a good thing. I will miss having no obligations to anyone but my kids. I will miss the long car journeys, sleeping with the sun warming you through the windscreen. I will miss the relaxed attitude that comes with being on the road for so long. I will miss waking up in the morning, not knowing what town we may lay our heads down in that night. I will miss lazy mornings and even lazier afternoons.

I am excited to see my family and friends, to ‘move’ back in to my home, to decorate, add my personal touches to each room and meld the old me with the new. I am looking forward to having cuppas with friends, to having adult conversation and ‘things’ to occupy my mind. I am looking forward to family celebrations, Anthony’s wedding, birthdays, Christmas. And as our time away draws closer to an end, I am excited about what the future will bring the Wandering Watsons!

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