As we finished eating dinner the other night, J was helping Bella wrestle with the last of her noodles. She leaned in close to him and spoke softly, “I’m sorry you miss your family daddy. I’m sorry you miss your mummy and daddy.”
When we started dating I considered the difficulties being from two different continents would bring if we ever married. I did not realize the impact it would have on our children. As I was the one far from my homeland it didn’t seem that difficult. Now that J is the one away from his family it’s something I struggle with. And that guilt comes upon me in odd moments and accuses me of dragging him away – even though I know that’s not at all close to the truth.
This morning we were introduced at our new parish. They asked us to stand up while someone read out a little bio and gave a brief history of who we are and where we come from. There was another new family introduced this morning as well. We spoke at bit during the parish picnic afterwards. The mother told me that after eleven months, it’s just sinking in that they’ve moved, that they’re here, that this is their home. My heart went out to her. They all had a look of what my own family feels; that is, they look like they’re trying to be brave, trying to embrace this new life, while underneath there is a sense of displacement, of feeling foreign, and still a deep tiredness from all the physical and emotional rigours they’re coming through.
It was nice for both of us to find someone who understands that. I suppose it must be a bit like when J and I were expecting our first child and tired of hearing veteran parents tell us how tired we would be when she arrived. You can’t understand until you experience it.
But it’s all a part of the adventure. I could never have guessed which minute decisions would send my whole life in a new direction. I’ll take the steep hills – they make reaching the other side that much more worth the journey.