Nic has been home a couple of times this year and is not that far away but Matthew has been away for two weeks short of a whole year! The longest I have ever not seen one of my boys. With time differences, Hong Kong seems very far away. Nic was away once for 10 months (without a sighting) and Gareth for two years (but with a few visits backwards and forwards). This is a not-so-nice family record.
Today while out on the road, my mind for some reason , went back five years. Back to what my niece Amy, then aged 13, shared with me about growing older. She was wishing that she could go back to when she was 12 and everything was different and her life was so easy and good. Her old school, her cousins and their different girlfriends, her crush on one of Matthew's rugby friends and the fact that Matthew was leaving Cape Town. These being a few of her many "sadnesses" at growing up. She was upset and was wishing very hard and wondering why don't go back to how they were, just one year ago.
They never do. Getting ready for the boys to arrive home brings with it the knowledge that things will never be the same. Things change and are not meant to be the same. We grow and we move on and start our own lives in our own homes and sometimes in new countries.
I started thinking back to my "olden days" and which days I would like to experience again. Things that I can't remember clearly anymore. I thought about, if I was given a chance to go back to a couple of days from my early life, in a time machine, which days would I choose?
Maybe just as once as a little girl, when my father and mother were still married. I don't remember that well. It must feature our house in Rosebank and both my grandmothers must come to visit. Dalene and I could play in our life-sized Wendy House, for which my grandfather had built and made all the furniture. That wonderful man must also please appear because I would love to hug him one more time. It is really weird how I can remember the smell of our neighbour Deidre's house and the pink overall and cap that her Nanny Anna used to wear. I remember the smells of her cooking as well and the details on their carved wooden staircase with two stories and a red carpet but I cannot remember my own bedroom much at all. I probably moved out of that house by the time I was 7 or 8.
Junior School? Not too memories there or any yearning to go back, except I do remember many of the teachers and pupils. I would love to be around for a break-time to remind myself who my friends were and what we chatted about. I lost touch with most of them when I left Junior School. They all went to the two other girls schools and off I went off to that school with the maroon checked uniform (and boys).
High School? Maroon days. Never really fitting in there but managed to develop a severe distraction and attraction to boys (and not forgetting my two forever best friends). I would love to go back in time and spend a double English class with either Mr Rumbol or Mr Horan. That is about all.
Relationship days? Was I much the same person as what I am now? Did I make conversation easily? I don't think so. I would love to be able to observe myself at 18 and 19. I certainly know I was much less talkative.
Wedding Day? I do remember the photographer arriving and I had a face-pack on my face and was in my bathing costume. That led to panic and the hairdresser handing me an Ativan to dissolve under my tongue. The rest of that day and night was a dream and I had to be poked by my bridesmaid to prompt me to finish my vows and not drift off to sleep. At least I was radiant in the photographs as I did not have the usual nervous, false smile. Maybe I should go back to see what it was all about.
Baby Days. I think these are probably the days I would most like to re-live. Just to experience one of those days again and this time to try harder to remember every detail. To check up on just how tired I was at times and how much Gareth really slept!! Photos help but they are a small part of the whole picture. What we did together? How did I feel? How did they talk and walk and smile and play together? Were they really that cute? (Maybe it is time to find the first video recordings of the early days - the one or two that did not have He-Man taped over them).
From turning 40 onwards, the boys and their school days and our Albion Road days are still very clear in my memory. No time-machine needed yet.
When do memories become nostalgia? Now that I am writing this and thinking a bit more deeply about this silly idea of a time-machine taking me back to the past to re-live days that I have already lived, enjoyed, messed up, been happy, been sad, been a shy school-girl, a student, a girl-friend, a mother. Some of the above I still am and some I will never be again but all those events turned my life into what it is now. Why would I want to go back and by watching, risk changing even one part of it.
Silly idea and best of all.....
3 more sleeps and we will all be together for Christmas!!