I hope you enjoyed the photos I posted of our holiday yesterday! Just looking at them again makes me want to pack up the car and go back… sigh.
I think that one of the reasons that our holiday was so magical was because we got to make some very special memories with my parents who after living with us for almost two years, will be packing their suitcases to move to China in August to teach at an international school in Shenzhen.
I can’t recall if I’ve mentioned it here before, but in 2006 when I was spending some time travelling in England, my parents also made a huge move of their own to teach internationally in China. They spent four years there altogether, and although they always came home for Christmas and the Northern Hemisphere Summer holidays, they officially lived overseas through the baby-hoods of both Ava and Lola, arriving home in September 2010, when I was about six-months pregnant with Belle.
We thought they were home for good. But unfortunately life throws these curve balls every so often, and with the recession the way it is, it has been hard for them both to find permanent teaching work since they returned. So they are going back to their old school in Shenzhen and oh boy are we gonna miss them!
When I tell people that we live with my parents (one set in our house, and another set in a cottage right next door!) they look at me like (a) they think I am crazy or (b) as though they feel very sorry for me. Perhaps living with your parents at the age of 31 – especially married with three children, isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. For me (after the initial adjustment period!) the pros always outweigh the cons. Barry and I get both practical and emotional support, and of course I don’t think my girls could ever receive an over-supply of love!
I don’t like to think too much about August. It makes my heart hurt. Of course we have much to look forward to – the girls will get to send and receive special ‘snail mail’… my parents will be back for a NZ Christmas… and we are already making plans for an extended visit to China next year. But for now, we are just savouring these times that we get the opportunity to make these special memories. While our home is especially full of love and noise and family, we’ll drink it all in.
If you’d like to share in the comments below, tell me, what is your relationship like with your extended family? How would you feel living with them… or living half a world away?