9 years ago, I was reeling from the aftermath of miscarriage number 3, where the baby became stuck, there was a rupture and it did its best to take me with it. I also realised right there on my sickbed, dizzy from nearly 3 litres estimated blood-loss that my despite my diligence and hard work throughout the horrible and heartbreaking loss of my daughter plus 3 other pregnancies, my employers had „benched“ me. Work-wise, it was all downhill from there.
8 years ago, Daniel was taking his first wobbly steps. I was fighting with my employers who were setting up a campaign for constructive dismissal.
7 years ago, I was looking at a flickering blob on a screen – the heartbeat of my second son, Joshua. I was working 3 days a week and my employment issues were ongoing.
6 years ago, there was a bad snowstorm, resulting in flight cancellations. As a result of that, I missed my grandfather‘s funeral. I was on maternity leave.
5 years ago, I was chasing Joshua and Daniel around Amersfoort zoo. It was the first time that Josh had been there since he‘d properly mastered walking.
4 years ago, Daniel‘s new lunchbox arrived in the post, signifying the run up to having a schoolboy in the house. Meanwhile Aaron was busy commando-crawling backwards and parking himself neatly underneath every available piece of furniture.
3 years ago, Daniel built the ‚Easter Cave‘ out of blankets on the sofa, with a large football to represent the stone at the front that was rolled back. He used a toy dinosaur to represent Jesus‘ body, laying inside.
2 years ago, Aaron was fighting Joshua for his position as ‚second in command‘ of the family, just a few months after Michael was born and had knocked him off his perch as the baby of the family.
This year and last year are much the same as each other. Life in Germany is extremely comfortable and enjoyable. Family life is stable, generally a lot of fun and our family is complete. Now we get to see them grow, and to watch the next phase of parenthood unfolding.
Personally, I‘m happy, fulfilled, and wake up nearly every day so full of love, so glad and thankful for all that I have. I thought I would miss the career life. I thought I‘d be bored out of my tree, but I was dead wrong. Yes, it‘s life, so of course it’s a mixed bag. The travel to and from Kindergarten and School is a big drain on my time and energy, as it takes up 3 hours of every day at the moment. Some days are better than others, sometimes it is hard, especially being so far away from family and most of our friends. But. I have plenty to occupy my time, and plenty of opportunities to stretch my mental muscles too, with volunteer work and so on. I have good social contacts, a reliable cast of folks I can hit up for a coffee and a chat. I even have a couple of local friends I can talk to about pretty much anything at all, good or bad. I find myself wandering around with this dopey grin on my face, most of the time, wondering how a person could possibly be so lucky?
Today, the sun is shining. I‘m sat in the garden. Brexit looms over us like some dark shadow, set to make life vastly more difficult for those of us who chose to exercise our freedom of movement rights and go make a life elsewhere in Europe. I‘m also saddened on a more immediate level that our friends Matt & Zoe won‘t make it over for this weekend after all, because all the trains got cancelled and they couldn‘t get to the airport in time.
Despite that, though, life is good.
Life is really, really, good.