Friday night is pizza night in our family. We make our own pizza using the Da Piero’s pizza bases (for the non gluten free in the family). This always makes me smile because, growing up in Australia, I have never seen anything with my brother’s name on it and I didn’t expect the first place I did see it, to be in an Irish supermarket!
Even though my Australian family have never been here for our family pizza night, the Da Piero pizza base has always, in a small way, made me feel connected to them and feel like I am sharing a pizza with them.
Next Friday, for the first time since I have been living in Ireland, my parents will actually be here for a Da Piero’s pizza with us.
By Friday 27th May, 2022 it will have been five years, one month and one day (1857 days), since I last ate with my folks, shared a drink with them and hugged them.
If anyone told me on Wednesday 26th April 2017, as we had our tear filled airport goodbye at Melbourne Airport (they never get any easier but I will always b thankful for those goodbyes because it means that there was a glorious hello and so many wonderful things in between), that it would be five years, one month and one day, before we would see each other again, I don’t know how any of us would have coped with that goodbye. But, of course, coped we did.
Obviously it wasn’t meant to be five years, one month and one day until our next “Hello”. We had planned to go back to Australia in 2020 to celebrate my dad’s 70th but the pandemic hit and the whole world went into survival mode.
Survival mode also brought with it hope – hope that, sooner rather than later, we would all be in the same room again. That hope, along with technology, got my whole family through those (almost) five years, one month and one day.
Now as the glorious “Hello” nears, I realise it’s been a strange lead up to it. Of course there has been excitement, massive countdowns and the nerves that comes with parents who have only done long haul journeys twice in their entire lives (one of those being their (separate) migrations to Australia). However, I have also started feeling like the protective walls that I have had up, to ensure that I am not always feeling homesick or needing my parents, have started crumbling down.
Of course, I recognise that there are people who are in far worse situations than myself. I am one of the lucky ones who chose to leave my country of origin to start a new life, I was not forced to flee.
That said, this past week I have been very emotional and so homesick. Tonight, as I got ready for pizza night, I realised that I am finally allowing myself to miss the privilege of having my parents with me as I navigate my way through life and fumble my way through parenthood.
I miss the privilege of having them drop around, whenever they want; the privilege of having them hang out with my kids; the privilege of having them mind the kids when something comes up at the last minute; the privilege of them minding the kids because my husband and I want to hang out; the privilege of them doing school drop offs and pick ups; the privilege of seeing them being hands on grandparents to my kids; the privilege of having my mum cook her amazing meals; the privilege of having them mind me; the privilege of learning from them; the privilege of making memories with them; the privilege of helping them; and the privilege list goes on and on.
In less than one week, and after five years, one month and one day, I get to experience those privileges again and have the best Hello ever. I can not wait.