I have a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. I’m waking up in the middle of the night with my heart pounding out of my chest, panicking. I feel like I’m homesick, but I’m home.
And I’ve just worked out why I’m reacting this way. I’m taking on my parents’ pain. You see, my baby Alfie is starting school next year and putting aside how wobbly I feel about this new chapter, I feel like my parents are getting broken up with.
My mum and dad (his Ganny and Pa) have been looking after our boys two days a week, for the last eight years. They’ve been to hundreds of parks, visited every playground in Adelaide, had thousands of picnics, a gazillion pillow fights and made a trillion memories together.
I was sitting with them the other day and they got teary saying, “we don’t know how we’ll fill those two days, we are going to miss our little mate so much”. My heart breaks even writing this. You see, my kids have done more for my parents than anyone could imagine. My eight year old Austin was born a week before my brother Ryan passed away and so he was our family’s saviour — our little super hero. And then when he started school, my parents had Alfie to fill their days and their hearts. And now that Alfie is starting school, they are left with a void.
When you ask my kids who they love it’s always: Mum, Dad, Ganny, Pa, Grandma and Pop — because right now, their grandparents are their world, their friends, their safe place. When kids start school, things change. Their little worlds open up and they have more people to fill their buckets. With Alfie starting school I feel we are all losing something.
I guess subconsciously, that’s why we got Peggy. Peggy is our new boxer baby and my parents’ grand-dog-daughter. On the days when they would have Alfie, they’ll take Peggy for a play and walk. It’s not the same as a human baby, but at least it’s someone to love and to look after and to grow with.
On behalf of all gannys, pas, nonnas, papus, nannas, pops, grandmas and mas, I wanted to say thank you. Thank you for everything you do. Thank you for helping our children grow and watering their gardens.
The thing that I will hold onto is that, this is not a breakup, it’s the beginning of a beautiful new phase. And my kids have loads more parks, playgrounds and pillow fights to enjoy with you.