Back from Melbourne with a sunny new outlook on life!
And anyone who was in Melbourne last weekend knows that's quite an accomplishment given the sun didn't make an appearance the entire time. Not that I'm complaining, I actually love Melbourne weather, colour me crazy!
Arrived wee hours of Saturday morning, thanks to my big sis who trekked out to pick me up from the airport, and gave me a bed for what was left of the night. Up early to help younger sis dress her gorgeous babies for a wedding. After brekky then a shower etc., time to pick up kids, drop nephew to stay with friends for the night, and niece to stay with big sis, while Mums had a night on the town.
Then big sis, niece (and btw, if I could be 100% guaranteed one exactly like this, The Brat would have a sister) and I, off to the little hamlet where I grew up, and my man still lives. Not that it's little or much of a hamlet, (or even a market garden) anymore. We parked at his sister's to await the man's arrival, and thanks so much for your hospitality M, if you felt as bad on Saturday as I do now, you deserve a medal for not chucking us out to wait for him on the kerb.
Next day was a family lunch for my man's birthday... yeah yeah I know, this blog has a content warning and I skipped quite a few hours on the way to lunch. Suffice to say, we got sidetracked on our way to dinner, and were very hungry by lunchtime on Sunday. That's it!
Now I've mentioned before that I have known my man since I was a kid, 30 years to be exact, and his family was my second family. I was best friends with one of his sisters as well as his on/off girlfriend, my big sister was best friends with his other sister, our Mums were best friends, our Dads were drinking buddies. So lunch with his family was just like old times, no big deal..... except for the presence of the next generation, particularly my man's daughters.
Daughter 1 I met when she was a bub, she's just a few months older than The Brat, and I was gone from Melbourne well before he was born. On my last flying visit in July, I met her briefly at M's where she was babysitting when we arrived home from my sister's 40th. At that time I was introduced as H's sister (H knows most of these kids, as she lives down there and has met them all at various family gatherings), and a friend of M's. Daughter 2 I have never laid eyes on, she's a couple of years younger, and I haven't had the opportunity in my few brief visits in the last 18+ years. So I was a little nervous to meet these young ladies as their Dad's other half. Especially given that their Mum was also part of our little group as kids, and for one reason and another we didn't, and probably still don't, particularly get along. I wasn't sure if they had any idea about my relationship with their Dad, and if their Mum did, would she have said anything to them to stuff up my chance to get to know them on my own terms?
As it happens, no need for nerves. Two delightful young ladies, who obviously worked out I was there "with" Dad, (they gave M the third degree on the way to lunch, about who was with Dad, why wasn't he picking them up etc.), but chatted easily, made me feel welcome, and even gave me a kiss goodbye when we left the restaurant. Serious relief! Sounds silly doesn't it, to be worried about the opinions of these young girls, but as the mother of a teen, and knowing how my man adores his girls I was anxious for them to like me. God knows the distance is a large enough hurdle, without us having to worry about the kids. The Brat is fantastic (he hasn't met my man yet, or at least not since he was quite a lot younger) but he knows about our relationship and our history, and has told me that as long as I'm happy, he's happy for me. That meant a lot to my man as well.
Back to the local for a couple of hours, met some of the man's friends, had a few drinks, then back to his place for an early night. Sort of......
Monday he had to work, this was a spur of the moment trip to surprise him for his birthday, and he didn't have time to arrange a day off. I trained it back to my sister's place to spend time with her and her partner and the kids, before my big sister picked me up for the return trip to the airport. I had thought I might have a wander around the city, visit a few old haunts and do some window shopping, but given the girls won't be here for Christmas this year, and the kids love spending time with their Brisbane aunty, it wasn't a chore to change my plans for them. Next time I will stay longer and do a few things by myself.
Monday was hard, the first day apart after even a fleeting reunion really does my head in. I was teary and tired (God knows why!) and really didn't want to come home. By Tuesday, along with a seriously sore throat and a very nasty cough, I had a new attitude. (M was quite unwell while I was there, and my man and I have both ended up with her lurgy). The reason for my change of attitude? Well, discussions were had, plans were made, things were said. Basically I have a better idea of where I stand in this relationship. I'm finally confident it actually is a relationship, for both of us. Yes I have some self-esteem issues, but bear in mind I still don't know why we broke up 20 odd years ago, and since we started seeing each other again back in July, we have had exactly 2 nights together prior to this weekend. Yes we talk on the phone every couple of days now, but the distance complication really does batter the confidence. Little things like knowing that he has mentioned me to his mates, and invited them to the pub to meet me, that he talks about me to his sister, that he referred to himself as my other half, and that he's planning to forgo his annual camping trip to fly up here after Christmas to be with me. Those little things mean the world.
So now, I'm calmer, I'm more confident that this is really going to happen, and I'm even open to bringing my interstate move forward from the 2 years I had been thinking. At the very least I will be making sure we spend at least one weekend together every 6 to 8 weeks, either here or in Melbourne. 4 months is waaaayyy to long.
...... And more progress being made every day on those resolutions.