On Thursday the kids and I were getting ready to pop over to a friend’s place for lunch when the phone rang. I picked it up and was surprised to hear that it was my Dad.
Backstory: In 2006, when I was heavily pregnant with Mr S, my brother had a motorbike accident. His injuries sent a clot to his brain. They told us he was brain dead. As a family we had to decide to turn off the life support machines. This was a horrendous emotionally taxing time for all of us. Most of all it broke my father’s heart, and not long after Mr S was born, Dad moved away.
[One day I might be ready to do a blog post about this. In the meantime the short version above is all I can muster up.]
Since then Dad has remarried, and lived in several different places. At the moment Dad and his wife live on a remote island in the Gulf of Carpentaria (thats right up the top of Australia), so we rarely get a chance to see him and with my busy family life, I don’t get much of a chance to talk on the phone.
It was a pleasant surprise to hear him on the phone and even nicer still was to find out that he had arrived in Cairns and was staying at my Uncle’s place in the city.
[Truth time. At first I thought it was nice. Then after thinking about it for a while I was secretly upset. At first I couldn't work out why I was upset. But after I processed it for a while, I realised that because of my fear of rejection and my low self esteem (falling into the trap of believing I am not loved) I was being a selfish pratt. This automatic fear began just because I didn't know in advance that they were coming. Just because when they got here I wasn't their first port of call or first priority. Basically just because the world doesn't revolve around me. So as I thought about this, I decided it is okay for the world not to revolve around me. It does not make me any less of a person. It does not mean that I am not loved. So I can either get over this princess crap, let it go and move on or I can let it hurt me for no good reason and spoil this wonderful visit and surprise. I decided that I can choose the way I feel. And so I chose to reject that habit of negative thinking and just let go. And when I did, I felt great.]
Because Dad and my StepMum are are living in a remote community with virtually only a general store, they had a long list of errands and places they needed to go to buy specific things. There were important things they had to do before the shops closed. So I picked them up on Thursday afternoon to take them shopping and made arrangements for them to come over for a visit to our house on Sunday Afternoon.
In the meantime, Miss O’s best friend phoned up to ask if Miss O could go to the tablelands with their family for the Easter Weekend. Normally I am happy for Miss O to have a sleepover at Miss H’s place, but I wasn’t too keen on it becuase it was the Easter Weekend. I explained to Miss O and Miss H that I would need to talk it over with the hubster. Miss O was torn. She really REALLY wanted to stay with Miss H but she didn’t want to miss out on being with the family, or seeing both my Mum & StepDad in Innisfail, or my Dad and StepMum.
So after talking about it with the hubster, we made a compromise. We would drop Miss O off on Friday Evening after we visited my Mum in Innisfail, and we would pick up Miss O from the Tablelands on Sunday Morning. This would give her the best of both worlds. She was able to be with her friend, and she was still able to see both lots of Grandparents.
I was still about sad about not having her wake up to her Easter Eggs on Sunday Morning with us, but the hubster and I agreed that it was time to encourage her to establish her own special memories and develop a little more independence.
On Sunday The Easter Bunny only just made it to our house just 5 minutes before the boys woke up. Phew! (Also real classy how the easter bunny used our bamboo steamer to put the eggs in). The minute Mr J was up and saw the eggs, he came running out to me to tell me and brought me back into the room to show me the eggs. Then he woke up his brother and before I could say “Don’t eat any yet”, they had opened and starting munching on the biggest egg in their baskets.
I was busy trying to do loads of washing and clean up the house a bit so we were a bit late leaving home on Sunday morning to pick up Miss O ( it was about a 2 1/2 hour round trip ) and we didn’t get home until just after 1pm. As a result we were very disorganised. Parts of the house were a still mess, so I zipped around quickly trying to tidy up as best as I could then zoomed into the city to get Dad.
The plan was that I would pick up Dad and my Stepmum while the hubster prepared the Webber (Kettle BBQ) so that he could cook a roast pork and veges. I had a Chocolate Mousse Profiterole Cake from Coles in the freezer, which we were going to have for dessert.
I picked up my parents and we were about 2 minutes from home when I got a panicked call from the hubster. The firelighters weren’t igniting and he couldnt get the coals going.
He was still trying when we arrived, so we all had a go at trying to get the fire going.
In desperation I searched
our crapheap our garage and found two half packets of firelighters. These ones weren’t defective and we managed to get the fire going straight away. Phew.
So once the fire was going, I realised we didn’t have anything to drink, and its usually customary for the men to have a couple of beers, and the women to chat over a couple of glasses of wine. So I nipped down to the bottle O around the corner and got some beers and wine.
I had just started to relax and had luckily only polished off half a glass of wine, when the next crisis happened. The hubster took the pork out of the fridge and took it out of the packet and found that it had turned. Ugghh. Its smelled! We had to chuck it out. I felt like I was chucking 30 dollars in the bin.
We had finally successfully made the fire and the coals were glowing perfectly but we had no meat to cook.
We have a coles less than 5 minutes from our house, and so I jumped in the car and prayed that it would be open and that I didn’t have to drive for another 15 minutes to get to the nearest Supa IGA. I was sooo relieved when I got to the supermarket and it was open.
I got to the meat section and there wasn’t a great selection of roasts that were large enough to feed the family . They did have legs of lamb, but they still had relatively little meat if you took the bone into consideration. The cheapest one was 25 dollars and I felt like it was a bit of a rip-off.
I walked up and down the meat section a few times and then had a brilliant plan. We would have a trio of meat. I chose a small eye roast which was reduced and was under $10; a small rolled pork loin that was about $13 and a small lamb half leg which was also about $11. This would give me a lot more meat than just the leg of lamb, for pretty much the same price. And they would all fit in the webber together.
When I got home, I handed over the meat to hubster and was finally able to relax. Once the meat was on and the veges were prepared, we took some family snapshots, and then walked down to the park while Miss O showed off how well she was riding her bike, and Mr S and Mr J raced around the park on their scooters.
We all had fun watching them ride and scoot until Mr S had a major meltdown, becuase Mr J kept on ‘winning’. Even though I explained it wasn’t a race (this is the story of my life), the meltdown began to escalate, so we cut our losses and we all came back home to chat and relax some more. Thankfully after having some quiet thinking time Mr S was able to calm down and enjoy himself again.
The roast meats and the roast veges all turned out just perfect. I joined two tables together so we could all eat at the one table, and set all the food out in the middle of the table, so we could choose what we wanted, like a smorgasboard. ( I wish I had of thought to take a picture of the food but we were all so hungry it didn’t even cross my mind). We all ate way too much, but it tasted soooo good, it was hard to stop.
I don’t know how we even ate dessert – but dessert is Dad’s favourite part of any meal, so I wanted to make it more special than just the coles cake (which by the way was awesome) so I quickly cooked up some custard and chopped up some bananas and grapes.
It was amazing to see how well the kids bonded with Dad and my Stepmum even though they had only seen them a few times. There’s just something special about grandparents.
We had lots of lovely conversation and lots and lots of laughs.
It was a great day.