They say that home is where your heart is. I had clung to this thought with both hands since moving from my home town almost five years ago, but after a recent trip back to Adelaide, I’m starting to think the home we left has gone forever. Not because we are no longer there but we because we have grown up, moved on……and become parents.
Initially our move to Queensland was an exciting adventure. We didn’t know how long it would last and I don’t even think we thought about what would happen in the future. We were two young twenty something’s with nothing to hold us back. In the first years after moving we would laugh at how much we had been missing whilst living in little old Adelaide…for anyone who hasn’t been there it is like any bustling capital city- minus the bustling city. I Was horrified on a recent visit to realize they the shops didn’t open until 11am on a Sunday! WHAT!
In the early days we would eat out most nights…it didn’t matter where or at what time…we didn’t have hungry kids to feed by six and we didn’t have to consider if they had a kids room. We could stay up late knowing we had all day to sleep in. We only ever really had to get up to eat if we’d had a big night out.
In Queensland We had the sun, the sea and life was exciting.Life was easy. Five years later, we are married with two children and with every responsibility that comes along with that. We now look at our surroundings differently. With limited family support, this once outgoing couple stays home most nights.When invited out we secretly prefer to spend our night off by going to bed early and getting as much sleep as possible. It breaks my heart when my son’s birthday’s come around and there’s no ‘real’ friends to invite, because our old friends are still in Adelaide…and we all know your cousins are your first ‘best mates’. The highlight for most weeks is venturing 10 minutes from home to grab a coffee at the local shops …knowing we have a limited window before the kids turn into wild animals.
Life gets lonely our own. My greatest friend here is my husband….the best kind of friend. I still get so excited half an hour before he is due home from work. But if he is my best friend here…who can I complain to when he’s being a shit! Of course he will always only take his side. My favourite past time has become my children. Today we played with the plastic animals….and for your information….tigers don’t eat dinosaurs because they are too big!
Trips back to Adelaide are less frequent now…especially now paying for the children. Whilst there on the weekend I was sad at the thought of what we had left. So many beautiful memories came flooding back. Memories of life before responsibility…Visiting friends every night of the week, going out for dinner again and of course our family. That feeling you get when you are with family. Safe, relaxed an not ashamed to wear your dirty track pants!
I loved seeing my son’s with their Nanna. I loved seeing them play with their cousins. I loved seeing my mates…the old ones. The ones you can sit next to in silence and not feel like you have to say something to avoid the embarrassment. I flashed forward to what life could be like if we moved back home again and when times are lonely, I hate that we are here and not there and that I have created a situation where my children will never live around the corner from their family. I feel like we have cheated them in some way and also robbed my mum of those special times.
For a week we were home again…where our hearts had been. I then started to realize that this wasn’t home for my boys….they had only ever known Queensland. We wouldn’t be returning to our wild nights out…we were parents now. At dinner it became apparent that even our own group of friends hadn’t seen each other for weeks, because life had gotten in the way. While looking out for familiar faces in the mall..I was looking out for the the young people we used to be, not the older, more wrinkly couples pushing prams, who we had now become. Our family unit had also changed significanlty…My brother, my ‘other’ best friend had moved on and my mum was forced to rent out our family home, meaning the place we came back to for all those years was now not there either.
Life back there would soon become what it had become here……………………or would it?
I still don’t know what the future holds for us, or if we will ever move again. But I do know that home is still in your own heart and in your own lounge room…even if I do look swear every time I step on another one of my Son’s cars!. The home I remembered had been long gone, I just hadn’t been there to see it change. We have grown older and wiser and regardless of where we live….our lives have changed.
It was sad to return to Queensland and leave it all behind…but it wasn’t the place that we would miss, it would be the memory of who we all used to be.