Jeez. Life doesn’t wait for anyone. She just carries on, oblivious to anything that might require a time-out. No degree of heartache, joy, anxiety or celebration slows her down. You just need to take whatever she gives you and deal with it. At your own time, for she’s not one to show sympathy or empathy just because you’re having a bad day. Or a good one for that matter.
One might expect that she would have a little consideration for trauma and allow for a slow and painless transition into normal existence. One might expect that surviving the reality of travelling in West Africa would allow you some sort of break. A moment to catch your breath. I was, after all, dealing with lethal disease, flying in shady planes, standing in overlong queues and waiting forever on people who seems to have patience as a superpower.
Nonetheless, travelling around dark Africa has given me an immeasurable appreciation for my own country, or like the people in Accra refers to it, African Europe. I’ve been back for three days, but there hasn’t even been time to celebrate me being back; life did not provide me with the easy transition I was hoping for.
School hasn’t even been postponed. Can you believe it? After arriving in the middle of the night on Tuesday, my kids still had to get up and get ready for school on Wednesday, which means I had to get up as well. I know! I was shocked to hear that this kind of thing actually happened everyday whilst I was in Ghana. *gasp* Life didn’t even notice I was gone.
Even more surprising was the fact that my kids still requires motivation, cohersing and threats, just to complete all the necessities of getting ready for school, you know those unreasonable things we expect them to do, like getting dressed, eating and/or brushing their teeth.
I always wonder what would happen if parents just abdicate the nagging. We’ll probably end up with countless, unfed, illiterate children, hanging around gaming consoles in their pyjamas, harbouring disgusting body odour and serious dental problems.
But life is actually not that bad. She’s not really that big of a bi-atch.
I just stand back in awe and inspiration, when I know that Wife is doing all this everyday, normal stuff when I’m travelling. And she does it on her own as siblings are really not big on helping siblings, unless, of course, “helping” implies reporting each other’s actions to Mom.
When I’m on foreign soil dealing with flight schedules, custom procedures, hotel bookings, taxi drivers, meeting notes and an obsessive need to wash my hands with alcohol induced handwash, she’s running our household AND her job. She ensures that life goes on. She ensures that everything happens like it should. She adds “Dad” to her already overloaded resume, which include but are not limited to: Care taker, teacher, doctor, driver, judge, event planner, cook, gardener, banker, secretary, manager, wizard, fairy godmother and superhero.
Wife ensures that our kids doesn’t feel the full impact of the bump, the emptiness of the small vacuum that I’m hoping I leave behind when I travel.
Isn’t she amazing?
The concept of “Home sweet home” becomes an understatement of ginormous proportions when you’ve been away to a place that doesn’t appear on a travel agent’s brochure. When I return home there’s a lot of great moments, but the greatest one has to be when I greet the Wife and we stand together in silence, locked in the longest hug recorded by man, and I feel her absolute relief. I feel all her concern and anxiety slowly drifting out of her soul like morning mist chased by the warm glow of the sun.
And nothing on earth makes me feel more welcome. Or more loved.
Then I run into the house and look for my kids. I need to share the love and shake the house…
Daddy. Is. Back!