Monday, 6 September 2010

A sort of homecoming: Part 2

So, let’s get back to the story. With our arrival back home, the craziness really began.
And then there were three!
I was the 24 hour milk bar for Sam, opening every 3-4 hours, around the clock. I had two young toddlers to feed, water, clothe, clean and entertain. I had lists to compile, one for what we had to do in Sydney before we left, another for what we had to do before we arrived in Hobart and another for what we had to do once we arrived there. I had the house to keep clean for prospective tenants to inspect. With a newborn. And two young toddlers who messed everything up the moment my back was turned. Enough said. Several times, I had to clean the house with 15 minutes’ notice, load Sam into the pram and take the three of them down the road to the park while the inspections took place. Often just when Sam needed a feed.
Our spotless kitchen, just before an inspection
Yes, you can probably sense it was a little bit stressful. There was so much planning ahead which my sleep-deprived brain didn’t want or need. Mr PB worked right up to the end. On the Sunday, we threw a party for our friends as a. it was my 39th birthday, b. they wanted to meet Sam and c. they wanted to say goodbye to us after 11 years in Sydney. It was fabulous but an emotional rollercoaster.
Mr PB giving a speech to our friends at the party
Look how tiny Sam's feet are! You can't even see his little head, tucked inside the Baby Bjorn. I held it together until the end, when my best friend and I looked into each other’s eyes and cried. They were intense tears, followed by a long hug which neither one of us wanted to end. It was the end of a sweet, challenging, intense, jam-packed, stressful, glorious time in our lives. Exhausted, we left the detritus of the party on the floor, a mess of wrapping paper and balloons.

The packers arrived the next morning. We whisked the pixies off to daycare and started supervising the packing. Seeing our lives packed up in boxes was confronting. Our privacy disappeared. I had to steal away to the car to give Sam breastfeeds, you know, the newborn ones which can last up to an hour. I had to make sure they didn’t pack our clothes for the next two days. We had to pack up perishable food and flammable products which couldn’t be transported and give them to friends. One couple was the proud beneficiary of our beloved potted frangipanis which we had tended lovingly for 11 years. Another received our two glossy, potted Ficus trees. We had to empty the sandpit of its sand. Much scrubbing of tiled floors was undertaken as the furniture was removed, piece by piece.

The packers left. We looked at our lives, all packed up in boxes to the ceiling. We gave the children a bath, salvaging some beach towels which hadn’t been packed away to dry them. We ordered a pizza as we had given all our food away. We ate off a stray plastic plate which had escaped the packing. Fortunately our beds were still erected. And then we slept. For a little while, on and off, in between six week old Sam’s feeds. The anticipation and anxiety mounted.

We woke, crammed the pixies and all the necessary PB paraphernalia in the car and bid our little home farewell. We knew that we had spent our last night ever there. I glanced in the mirror and shed a tear. We then spent the day at our friends’ house, packing and repacking our luggage for the plane flight, trying to anticipate the pixies’ needs for the flight.

The next morning, we bid our sad farewell to our dear friends and drove to the airport. Parting Sydney was a bittersweet moment as we thought how we had arrived all those years ago, bright young things with high hopes. We were leaving with mixed feelings, worrying that the time wasn’t right and that we could have succeeded raising our little family on our own, whilst also realising in our heart of hearts that it probably would have been too hard and at too great a cost to our health and happiness. There was no one there to farewell us – it was a strange departure after all those years.

After endless waiting in the queue, juggling the three pixies and their requests for food, drink and toilet breaks, we hopped on the plane to Hobart, ready to start the next chapter in our lives. We survived the flight, survival being the operative word as we juggled Sam’s breastfeeds in the cramped seat, toilet stops for Joshua and India and entertaining, feeding and watering them all.

Our plane touched down in Hobart. The next chapter had begun. We descended the steps to the tarmac, clutching hands and PB paraphernalia. We breathed the sweet, fresh Tasmanian air. We trudged over to the terminal where my parents were waiting in great anticipation. Yes, it was a sort of homecoming, a return to the fold. This time, however, we weren’t the newlyweds who had left 11 years before. We were the parents-of-three with a lot of life experience behind us and dreams for a full and contented life ahead with the pixies.

So, there you have it, a little bit more colour about our arrival in Hobart. That was a year ago this week and what a year it has been. Next, I'll fill you in on the surprise which awaited us.



  1. Wow Jane, you really did it all at once. What am emotional time for you and with 3 little ones in tow also. Hats off to you and your hubbie! Can't wait to hear how the last year in Hobart has been for you, although I'm sure you have settled in and found your feet again. I think we live in one of the most beautiful places in the world!

  2. Thanks, Sonia! It was a heady time, that's for sure. I'm still getting over it in many respects. Not something for the faint-hearted! Yes, it is a patch of loveliness. J x


Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts, you gorgeous soul. You've just made my day! J x

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...