We've recently moved...again. In our thirteen years together, he and I have moved eight times, the last five with our kids in tow and three of those internationally. This latest move has brought me home again, to the place I grew up and left some seventeen years ago. It has brought us close to family and old friends in a city that is both familiar and new to us. New school for the kids, new work situations, new climate to adjust to, new friends, new house. Still, the new is set in the familiarity of childhood, despite all the changes in the years between then and now.
Since moving, much has changed. Most significantly, my dad is no longer with us. Seeing him was a big part of our first three months here. Even though he didn't always know who we were, he knew we were his. He was in our lives. At the same time, my mum still lives in the family home of over 45 years and maintains her independence and vigour for life. I am so grateful for that.
There are smaller things too. Although we have kept our jobs in this move, it now sees our household dad/husband-free for half the week. The victory in this lies in the half-week he is here - really here. In my work just yesterday, I dug into the deep teacher's toolkit that was fitted out teaching and learning in NYC. Such a different place to where I am now, such a different school context and demographic, but nonetheless filled with young children with stories to tell.
And today, as I listen to my daily dose of NPR, I will set my mind on how to merge the charming Edwardian-style garden of our new home to the beautiful Australian bush landscape it backs onto. What a fortunate combination it is of past and present, here and there that brings me to this task today.