Last night I hit the pillow at 7pm. Ever have those days when your body screams FLU APPROACHING? Bunker down. RETREAT! RETREAT!
I handed the baton to my husband the minute he walked in the door, and snuggled under the covers.
Then it sideswiped me.
It was the classic hot water bottle that did it. We all had one growing up as kids and as I cuddled it close and felt sorry for myself, I wanted my Mum.
I am 42 years old.
I have been living away from home for 24 years, and I was feeling a little homesick.
My husband and I both grew up in a country farming town in Southwest Victoria; population 2,350.
Regardless of where we are in the world, it will always be ‘home’.
So here’s the thing….
I miss Dad’s jokes. Unbelievable, but true. The ‘Joke of the Day’ that he never fails to read aloud from the paper…and then retells to any poor sod who we happen to bump in to during the day.
I miss my Mum’s Sunday roast of old and the way my 3 sisters and brother used to sit around the table singing, stirring each other mercilessly and finding out who was going out with whom.
I miss discussing the rainfall (or rather nodding my head along politely); how many inches fell where and how that is going to swamp so and so’s front paddock, or how much we desperately need it.
I miss walking into the local pub and having the old blokes in the front bar trying to guess which sister I am.
I miss the heady days with our chubby, red headed baby, travelling home for the weekend and the glorious ‘choice’ of which Grandma to stay with.
I miss the simplicity of scoring a park right out the front of the local IGA.
I miss slothing about on the couch at my folks house; fire going, flicking through mum’s old magazines and hearing about what is going on in, “The Bold and the Beautiful” (despite never watching it and having zip interest – I will be told anyway).
I miss having family falling over themselves to mind the kids, or just play with them for a while so we can have a break.
I miss watching the kids playing with their cousins.
I miss drinking Four Sisters wine with my 4 sisters and working out which silhouette on the bottle is which sister. Trust me; it only gets better (or worse) a few vinos in.
I miss hearing Dad run through the local footy scores, even though I don’t really know many locals playing any more, have no idea of the ladder and wouldn’t have a clue who the Premiers were last year.
I miss the lazy Sunday mornings reading the papers spread out on my mother in law’s dining table. The sun streaming through, easy laughs and no where to be in a hurry.
I miss just flying in to the supermarket to quickly grab a couple of things and emerging an hour later after chatting to an old high school teacher or the parent of a close friend.
I miss sitting back at the pub playing real life Guess Who with the next generation; working out whose daughter that one is, who married who, who is pregnant again, who is now working where, who is the spitting image of that one, who has turned into a gorgeous young man and so on and so forth.
I miss racing back to the stereo to take the pause button off to record a good song on “Take 40 Australia“. (Bros really was the Boogie).
I miss having a brother and sister around to bounce stupid one liners off in the flesh, and not just on skype or the phone.
I miss my mum’s roast potatoes – I can NEVER get them quite the same.
I miss the space and the paddocks and the fresh dairy air and the view of the mount.
But this morning, I have climbed out of bed and rolled on, ‘cos that’s what grown up’s do.
I am incredibly grateful for the fact that I have somewhere special to ‘miss’.
However, today I will walk to the beach with my daughter at lunchtime, breathe in the salty air, chase seagulls away, eat the sandwiches that my husband made for us this morning, and I will be certain that life is beautiful again.
But I will make a call to Mum and Dad; just to say ‘hi’.