My parents, the grandparents of my children, live 10,276 miles away. As if that didn't make it awesome enough, in that same place, there are seasons, twinkly yuletides, explosions of spring and seemingly unending grey skies, save for a few broken weeks in the summer when it's glorious, and there are two days in each one, and every fat bloke embraces the blue skies and lies bare chested during his lunch break on whatever patch of grass he can find reading tabloid newspapers and enjoying a mediocre sandwich and always with a bag of crisps. Not chips, but crisps. There are uncles, aunties, cousins, friends of old, many I'd consider as close if not closer than family.
Every day since I arrived in Australia, almost 10 years ago, I have thought about how I miss that place. I miss those people, the long summer days, the unending winters, the feeling of cosy, the closeness of everything, the history of the architecture, the rolling countryside (it's unrivalled) and I could go on. It has never occurred to me that perhaps I don't miss that place, but I am simply nostalgic, never been one to adapt to change terribly easily, and always harking back to the good times gone, choosing conveniently to forget about the stuff everyone else remembers in order to look at today and the future with such enthusiasm. Not me, I prefer the times I know, I dealt with them all so much better than I think I'll deal with the stuff I don't know, so it's only the good stuff I remember, and therefore miss with every bit of myself.
We talk often about going back there. We met there, we loved life there, had it not been for my then boyfriend's growing ambition to do something with his life, we probably would have stayed there. We talked about it a lot in the early years if life in Oz and it was always going to happen, but lately, since becoming parents and learning we can't just pack up these little people and take them to where we want to be without acknowledging it mightn't be best for them, it's become a lot harder to talk about moving with any certainty. These days we realise too, that in the 4+ years since we were last there (in the midst of winter no less), life there is probably very different to what it was then, never mind the rose tinted memories of 10 years ago. There's a big chance we could make the move and realise it was totally the wrong thing to do. But is that a good enough reason for not trying at all?
But much as I am now thinking more often of staying rather than going, I can't quite bring myself to stop thinking about the possibilities. The idea that we might have ruled out moving back there is heartbreaking, even if most of our friends (here and there) don't understand it. I can't see my life being lived out in Queensland, beautiful though it is (and lord knows I don't miss anything when I'm at Straddie) and perfect though it might be for rambunctious little boys and their love of sandy feet. But then I can't see how we'd move back either, I'm not a risk taker, and it might make me boring, but the idea of the chaos such a move would cause in my brain...
So the point of this post? Well, as with most, there isn't one. It's one of those ramblers, a brain dump, a record of this feeling of fence sitting and don't-know-what-to-do-ness that I'm pretty sure will be resolved by a nutcase trip we're planning for the end of this year back to that place. Yes, in the midst of winter (Christmas!), when the days are short and dark (fairy lights!) and the holiday season will have taken hold (family time!). It's been brewing for a while now, and we've decided the cost will always be a barrier, the travelling is 99% going to be hellish, but it's something we just have to do, not just so we have fuel for the ongoing debate of where our lives should be but because after almost 5 years since we were last there, and 10 Christmasses away from home, it will be about freaking time we take the kids over there, see my loved ones and squeeze them tight, and decide what the dickens we should do with the rest of our lives. And even if we don't, I'm pretty damn excited about the possibility of the kids seeing some snow. SNOW!