to come back

It’s strange to move back to the place where you grew up. Particularly when it’s a small town, close to a bigger small town. A small community, where people often greet each other in the streets, and where the chances of running into someone you know when you pop down to the shops are 98/100. Where everything is pretty much the same as when you left it some 12 years ago. And when you’ve been living as far away as I have, you might as well have been to jail, or lived as nun in monastery; everything is that foreign to you when you suddenly find yourself back in the mix. Your memories over the past 12 years are nothing like the stuff you see around you; after all, your memories are of beaches & sunshine, of city life & trams & trains & 9-6 working days, of warm winters & even warmer summers, of dry asphalt & t-shirts in January. Of freedom, you know, that feeling as you leave work on a sunny Friday afternoon, knowing that the AFL Grand Final is on tomorrow and all your friends are coming over for a backyard party in the afternoon. That on Sunday, you’ll drive down to the beach somewhere, who knows exactly where, that doesn’t matter, but you’ll pick up a coffee on the way and sit in the passenger seat with your feet out the window. Air. Warm, soft air. That’s what it’s all about.

It’s 2:30 pm and you used to be one of the teenagers over there just leaving school. Walking to the bus, catching it home and then what. Dreaming about the future, of how one day life is going to be so much more exciting. More exciting than now. Today I’m just a lady with a pram, passing the teenagers leaving school. I saw many of those when I was in my school days; I just never knew you had travelled so widely. That your life had been so full of excitement, of courage and guts, of up’s and down’s, of memories and experiences. Of life. 

Sometimes you need to come back to where it all started. You’ll wonder if the past 12 years was just a dream; maybe you really did go to jail, or were abducted by aliens. Some days, I feel like I’m living in a new town all together, because the eyes that I see through now are completely different to the ones I used to see through. They see different things, this new set of eyes. And today, when I was out, and the sun was shining and the air was crisp, they saw the most wonderful things.

photo 2-2

 

mother

I’m a mum now. People tend to ask me “isn’t it amazing being a mum?”, and yes of course the answer to that is “yes”, but I’m not always sure “being a mum” necessarily covers how I feel.

I feel like the same person I’ve always been. I don’t feel older, or necessarily wiser, or even more mature. I still get freaked out by the most ridiculous things, like a scary movie on TV, or being home alone after dark. I’m still brave enough to do the things I’ve always done, like moving continents or striking up a conversation with a stranger. I’m still me, with all the good and the bad that comes with that.

All I know is that there is this precious, beautiful baby boy in my care that needs all the love and attention I can give him. That I’m willing to protect him with my own life if I had to. That my life and my happiness from now on is totally depended on his life and his happiness. That when I look into his little eyes and smile, and he smiles back, my heart explodes inside my chest.

And he is my whole world. My human. My heart will never be the same; the layers are gone and it no longer has the ability to protect itself from hurt. I’ve become the person who cries at a news story, from reading a book, from watching a reality show about love on TV. From hearing a sad story about a child. Just like all the other mothers in the world.

So yes – it is amazing being a mum. Just in so many more ways than words could ever describe.

red-heart-tree