A Two Part Performance

In a theatrical sense our holiday is written as a two part performance. Act One is very much under my direction. It is jam-packed with drop in visits to and by old friends, an annual girls weekend, and trips to my hometown. In those first few weeks I walk with a spring in my step “look at those beautiful hills” I will exclaim to the little travelers. “Can you believe the colour of the sky?” I feel a million miles away from my desert home, traffic light stops are void of camels and goats smooshed together in the back of a Toyota Hilux. I am now left to gaze at enormous old trees, rolling hills and breathtaking vineyards. In the true sense of the shamefully overused awesome, I am truly in awe of the beauty that surrounds me in Australia.

Until I begin to take it all for granted.

By the end of Act One, there’s a definite shift in mood. The pointy end of the holiday. I’ve caught up, been away and driven back and forth. The gloss is losing its shine. The connection to G often cuts in and out while we speak of toilet seats that need to be replaced and maintenance around the house. I am not a single parent but I’m momentarily flying solo. While I gaze out to sea I see flashes of the constant whirr of the washing machine and dishwasher. The sound of bickering children into their sixth week of school holidays has affected the spring in my step, my step is now punctuated with “let go of him” and “give that stick to me” or last night’s bedtime threat “the next person who makes a noise will sleep in the laundry” I hear a giggle and then shout to the top of the stairs “with the door closed” another giggle causes me to scream “with the lights off!”

Silence.

Being solo in our different forms is wearing thin for both G and I. We are waiting now, not so patiently for Act Two.

Act Two has G in its starring role. He makes a walk on appearance that is greeted by cheers from the audience. His brilliant performance as superstar Dad changes the entire tone of the holiday. The bodies of small children will be held aloft shoulders while the return of Dads jokes will keep the crowd amused. Trips to Queensland will be had, new characters in the form of another set of doting Grandparents are introduced, and dessert will become a pivotal part of the mealtime structure.

I miss my parenting partner, my friend, my lover. Sleeping sideways in the bed is wonderful for awhile, but I miss him. In a recent Facetime chat with G I told him excitedly that the annual Almond Blossom Festival coincided with his arrival.

“They’ll be fireworks on the night that you arrive” I said while reading from the brochure of events.

In his Australian bloke laconic way, he winked and replied with a broad Queensland accent.

“You bet there will be darls, I just can’t guarantee how long the show will last.”

I mock shooshed him, the children looked up to see what the giggling was about, why was mum grinning about the fireworks.

It’s intermission, five more sleeps and we move into Act Two.

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