Wednesday 17 September 2014

International travel and relocation, goodbyes and identity.

It’s been a tough and long few weeks, too many decisions to make about our future and saying goodbyes.

Our last child of 5 children left home in January this year and I thought my heart would break. The youngest left home last August aged 14 to return to school in the UK, he came out to visit for Christmas and I returned to the UK in April and we travelled around together visiting family and friends, visiting his siblings and saying our hellos and goodbyes. Child 4 of 5 then returned to SA in May for 4 weeks and spent most of his time catching up with his school friends and we spent some quality, adult, time together. The youngest came to visit for August and child 3 of 5 is currently out here with his girlfriend.

I love and hate going to the airport to collect the kids, but as I’m stood there waiting for them in the arrival hall, I start to think about the return trip to the airport to say goodbye. I can’t help it, as excited as I am to see them, it means it won’t be long before I have to say goodbye again, unsure as to when the next visit either way will be.

We will be on the move again soon, no further details at this moment in time other than we are going to Dubai, sometime over the next few months. This will be the last visit to South Africa for the children, unless they decide to come here independently, which I’m sure child 4 of 5 will probably do at some point in his life.

It also means more goodbyes to my lovely and amazing friends, another change in my identity which over the past 4 years has gone from a working mother and student to a SAHM, to a SAH. My volunteer work will cease and I will have to find other ways to occupy my time, maybe a job, maybe return to my studies, but I know I’ll carry on raising awareness and funds for the charities I’m involved with in South Africa. There will be visits back out here, that will involve more goodbyes and the children will be able to visit us in Dubai more often and there will be more trips for me to the UK to see them, but again, more goodbyes.

At some point in time we will return to the UK, but by that time our last child will be an adult, hubby will be approaching retirement and maybe we’ll be grandparents.

All I know is that these goodbyes and changes in identity are crippling me at the moment. I need to view these changes with positivity and excitements, new opportunities and experiences and I’m sure in time it will all be ok and not have any lasting effects on our relationships with the children and ourselves.

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