Thursday, 27 October 2011

Finding friends

I'm feeling positive today. And so I don't forget how it's come about (I forget everything at the moment  – unless it's happened in the last ten minutes), I must write it here.

Nothing major has happened, just a combination of a few special moments to give me a nice warm glow. On Sunday morning, Graeme came home with five beautiful fish. He was very happy. And I suddenly realised as I pushed the trolley past the fish counter this week that I can't remember the last time I bought any fish.

That put a big smile on my face. Graeme's getting enough that we've got fillets in the freezer now. It's a big reason for moving out here, and it's working.

We popped over to the Avoca Beachside markets that same morning and Luca headed straight for the bouncy slide. He had a little kerfuffle with another boy and after that they were best friends. Inseparable actually. Holding hands, cuddling eachother, sliding down together.

It was lovely to see. Of course it's always nice for any parent to see their child make a friend so easily, but with Luca it's very special. He left his little friends behind when we left the UK and then grew very frustrated through lack of hearing from severe glue ear (we have since discovered), which then led to speech problems.

As we've moved around so much in the last two years, he's seen people come and go. Children he may have played with once and never again. Friends he made in Sydney are no longer part of his life, and up until recently he really didn't have anyone to play with.

It's been tricky to get playdates organised, so I don't get to see him play with other kids, which I miss.

I could have watched him for hours play with this little boy on Sunday. I suddenly yearned for our friends back home and those close bonds.

They wouldn't let go of eachother's hands. It occurred to me that maybe this was a sign that I was supposed to do something. This little boy obviously had something that Luca was drawn to and so it seemed odd to say goodbye and bring it to an end.

His parents were very friendly and the four of us were chatting quite effortlessly, so I bit the bullet and asked if they'd like to meet up for a playdate.

Am I that desperate that I'm asking people we've known for barely five minutes to come and play with us?

My suggestion was met with delight. Phew.

Luca's been asking all week about his friend and finally this morning we drove to their beautiful home.

I've been here a hundred times in the last two years: meeting a new family in the hope you'll have lots in common and forge a great friendship, putting so much effort into getting to know them.... and then for one reason or another it all fizzles out.

Sometimes the kids don't get on and sometimes, I suppose, we just don't hit it off as well as we'd hoped.

It leaves you feeling very empty after a while and you do get to a stage where you feel too drained to bother anymore. I wait for the next wave of enthusiasm to hit me and I start again.

And that's what I did this morning. As I sat there sipping tea with my two playing happily with her two (well, amid screams and the normal snatching and shoving), I wondered if this will be a one-off or should I try and remember the names of her family members and where they live.

I hoped that it wouldn't be a one-off. I had a nice time and Luca had a blast. A pair of sulfur-crested cockatoos flew onto their balcony at one point along with some lorikeets. The children fed them bowls of seed and giggled for ages.

I really missed this. Enjoying my children's company in the company of others. It hasn't happened very much since we left England.

Graeme reminds me constantly that it won't always be like this. He's right, I know.

It was a good morning, and though Kian made sure I had next to no sleep last night, I felt energised enough from our playdate to take the boys and Sydney to the beach this afternoon.

And I managed to snip a small handful of basil leaves from my garden for our chicken cacciatore dinner this evening. It feels more like home every day.


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