It’s Time To Pack

It’s time to pack.

After a weekend full of catch ups and goodbyes, the time has come. We hop on a plane this evening and in my usual style the suitcases are still on top of the cupboard.

The wind conditions here mean that Doha is currently resembling a dust bowl with a temperature of 40 degrees, and I’m about to ask the little travellers to collect tracksuit pants and winter pj’s. We’re heading to the other side. The summer beach house we left behind with crusty beach towels towels draped over the front fence is now frosty in the mornings with a requirement for socks as you head downstairs for breakfast. The summer sauvignon blancs will be replaced with gutsy Aussie reds. Outdoor bbq’s will now be inside roast dinners.

This year we’re doing it a little differently. I’m heading off with the kids without G, he’ll meet us in a month. It’s better this way, I can get the house set up and G can come for one long break without having to make two trips home – but it’s just not the same going home without him. The head count won’t add up and there will be a constant feeling that one of us is missing. “Dad would love this wouldn’t he Mum?”

“Have you checked the transfer went in to your bank account?” he asked this morning.

As I opened my email I saw the online flight confirmation notes pop up one by one, he’d woken up early and checked us all in.

“I’ve done all I can do from this end” he smiled a sad smile.

Tomorrow G will wake up alone in a bed that was made for two, in a house that is missing its children. Houses that are missing their children always seem so deathly quiet. He’ll walk the dogs and eat his breakfast alone before heading to work for the day. For the next month we’ll talk via Skype and FaceTime and get frustrated about our bad timing. G inevitably calls just as someone’s taken a tumble and a fight has erupted, or dinner arrives at the table. My voice will be strained at the end of the day when I suggest “you need to talk to your son.” I’ll relay the stories of friends, discuss the menu at the local restaurant, and take photos to show how the garden has changed. “Wait until you see…”

It’s time to pack.

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