Eight

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I have an eight-year-old. How did that happen?

It feels like a matter of months since I was doing a last-minute run to the party store for the shiny blue 7 balloon. But a whole year has passed, and I was under strict instructions this time. No balloon. No birthday balloon, for the first time, ever.

Seven was quite a year – at times it felt like DorkySon was more comfortable in his skin than anyone else I know. He grew smarter and funnier, stronger and kinder, and made me prouder than I can put into words. But some days it felt like the pressure of new responsibilities was a little too much for him. I got a taste of how things might feel ten years from now, with slammed doors and sweaty trainers and more swearing than is likely appropriate. Oy. I’m buying my bunker now. Continue reading

Rooftop Bars and Hire Cars

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On the long plane journey back from the US a few weeks ago, while DorkyDad watched Muriel’s Wedding for the first time, and DorkySon watched the Peanuts movie for the fourth time, I chose to watch a documentary about Nora Ephron, called Everything is Copy.

It felt appropriate. I’m not half the writer that Nora was but our three weeks in the US – landing in South Carolina twelve hours before it was evacuated for Hurricane Matthew – certainly provided plenty of copy.

We’d been talking about this holiday for so long. Through the cold Tasmanian winter, during every sleepless night or stressful early morning, we reassured ourselves.

Hold on,” we’d say. “The holiday is coming! We have sunshine and music and shrimp in our future.

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What do you do when he travels?

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People say it all the time.

“It must be hard when your husband travels… What do you DO?”

Oh no, it’s fine,” I reply, “we’re used to it.”

Then I laugh lightly. “I enjoy the peace and quiet.

It’s true.

It is fine. We are used to it. And I do enjoy the peace and quiet.

He travels much less than he used to. And much faster. Singapore and back in four days. Hong Kong in three. Last year he did a full circuit of the globe in less than a fortnight.

He packs well. A black bag, with the right sized pocket for everything; wash kit, tie case, shoes. I sit on the bed watching. In the early days he and I would write each other notes on yellow legal paper to find later. I would find a way to slip one into his briefcase while he read through the itinerary one last time. He would leave one on the pillow for me to find that night. We don’t do that anymore. We trust our love, and besides, we text. Continue reading

Seven

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It was DorkySon’s birthday at the end of March. Seven. Goodness.

As with every year previous, we asked if he wanted a party, and as with every year previous he said no. He is nothing if not predictable – still a boy of simple pleasures. On the day itself he took in some sweets to share with classmates, and asked to have dinner at a local brewpub. (Pulled pork sandwiches for the win!) His present requests also remained modest – books, Lego, and a big shiny balloon. The weekend after his birthday we took a boat trip down the river – an opportunity to see penguins bobbing in the water and sea eagles soar above our heads – then went for fish and chips, and ice cream. He is a boy after my own heart for sure. Continue reading

Goodbye, 2015

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It’s New Year’s Eve here in Tasmania, and like the worst possible Australian cliché, we have spent it on the beach. I’m not quite sure how – I reckon I’ll blame DorkySon – but somewhere along this wonderful journey we have turned into a family of wetsuit wearers. Even on days when the water temperature is a few degrees below balmy, we can now while away our hours bobbing in the Derwent. Continue reading