To most expats living in the Middle East, summer school holidays mean various things.
Things like bored children for 3 months, extortionate heat, high humidity, dusty winds, and a mom that’s going crazy trying to keep the kids indoors and hydrated. One just cannot imagine what the heat is like until you’ve experienced it.
Since there’s only so much one can do each day to keep the kids entertained and occupied, I had to make the decision – stay for 3 months, mainly cooped up indoors, while friends either worked daily, and others exit the country OR leave to go stay by my mom.
The answer seemed simple. We’d take the kids to go visit their gran and some other family members, meet up with some old friends, be away from the heat in the very chilling and wet, winter Western Cape climate, and allow the kids to run outside in the garden, play on the beach or just go for a walk.
Mr Bear came with us for the first week during Eid and then make his return to the sandpit to continue work; leaving us behind at my moms, knowing I had an extra pair of hands to help with the kids.
But was this the best decision?
Friends would ask me if I’d be ok to be without Mr Bear for 2 months. I’d give them the quick, well recited response that at least I’ll be with my mom, I’ll have help, and of course some company.
Looking back on my decision now, I’m not so sure anymore…
My pillar of strength, partner in crime, sounding board and love of my life is not just a few kilometers away from me. I can’t just count the hours down until I know he’ll be walking through the doors to help out during the Murder Hour. My extra hour of snoozing in bed in the morning has left with him, as he used to get up with Monkey at the crack of dawn. My time that I used to catch my 2nd wind and get ready for bedtime routine is no more as now it’s just a continuation until my animals are all in La La Land.
And then I’ve also got my routine of even the smaller things like running the house that is no more. Simple things like watering the plants and popping in to a friends house for a cold one, or coffee in the mornings has all been put on hold.
So was this the best decision? For me? The kids? My life?
I don’t know.
It’s like half of your being is missing. Half of your personality. Your life. Just not here. Yes, there’s social media and WhatsApp and skype. But that’s just not the same as a pair of hands to actually be there. Someone who also knows what each cry, moan or whine means. Just your someone.
On the other hand, the kids are happier. Yes, they do miss their daddy, don’t get me wrong. But they see their gran, who adores them. They can play, get dirty, and do boy stuff like get dirty and wet. They are not grounded inside the house while their friends are off on their own exodus from the heat.
And with that, I suppose sometimes your kids happiness comes first, even when you temporarily feel hollow.
Only 62 days to go…