It is a big week here in the house of Boo. Or haus if you’re of the Lady Gaga inclination. I think Derek would appreciate a dress made of ham. She is more avant garde than the rest of us.
Jason got a new job.
It has been a bit of a roller coaster, frankly. It has taken three weeks from application to done deal, although it was only confirmed this Friday afternoon – and he starts today. To say it has been tense is something of an understatement. We have had to act as if the job was in the bag, even though the contract did not arrive, because there was so much to prepare. As it was, he was still booking flights and sorting out accommodation on Saturday evening. There is nothing like cutting it fine.
It has been such a big deal because the job is not in the UK. It is in Germany.
When the children were younger, I would have been absolutely fine with this. We would have just shut up shop and gone with him. We were those naughty parents who took our children out of school for several weeks at a time. The sort of parents who think that world travel is good for the soul, and that academic work can be caught up on. We are still those kind of parents, but our children are older now. Tilly sits GCSE’s next year, Tallulah goes up to high school in September, and taking time out becomes more complicated.
Jason’s initial contract is for three months. Not really enough time for us to uproot ourselves properly. No sooner would we get there and get to grips with the fact that boiled eggs are de rigeur for breakfast and that rye bread is compulsory for the under twelves, and we’d have to come home.
We are staying put for the moment. Jason will come home at weekends. We will see how things work out.
There were many jobs he nearly took when the children were younger. Brunei was a big contender, but I didn’t want to live in a compound. Nor did I want my car filling with fire ants, a nice story an ex pat told me about living there, which really didn’t do it for me. Why having your car full of fire ants should be a positive thing on your list of reasons to move to Brunei I don’t know. Perhaps if I was Lady Gaga all would become clear.
It was never quite the right job for us to uproot in the past, when we could have gone with ease. Now it seems, now that we are in a house we love, and I am toiling away at my beautiful garden, and the children are all growing beards and settling in to their new lives happily, now is the time for us to take to foreign climes.
I am finding it hard. I confess.
I am finding it hard because it took me a long, long time to find the husband of my dreams, and I don’t like to be without him. I can manage without him (I hope). I am perfectly capable of doing everything that needs to be done, but I will miss him. I can’t think of anyone else on the planet I would rather spend my free time with, and now he will be away for rather a lot of it. Which sucks.
The children are sad, because we are that nauseating type of family who also likes to be with each other. Jason is a big part of their lives. He is a very hands on dad. It will take some adjusting to. In the meantime they are talking to me about how sad they feel, which is great, because they feel that they can, and they haven’t shut me out and gone off to brood and kick the cat, but I cannot make it better, and I feel rather inadequate.
I am finding it hard because I wish this could have happened earlier in our lives, and then we could all have gone, and had a big adventure together, and now I feel like the little old lady, keeping the home fires burning, and it’s not a role I inhabit comfortably. When all is said and done I am more like the little old lady who would accidentally burn down the house by falling asleep while the home fires rage out of control.
It is a big change in our lives.
It comes alongside other big changes.
Since this job landed on the horizon I have known that I will be the one wearing all the hats at home. I am not a proficient hat juggler, and so, to make it easier for myself I have decided to take off a number of hats I felt I no longer needed to wear – to stretch a metaphor beyond breaking point.
As such, I am no longer going to be chair of the PTFA at school. The work takes up too many hours and is too stressful, and for the sake of my sanity, I need less stress in my life right now.
We got word this morning that Tallulah has been accepted at the same school as Tilly, which she will start in September. This is possibly, the first time in the history of my children’s entire school going career that I have filled out a form at the right time, to get them into the right school in the right way, and been accepted. This is the pinnacle of my career as a mother. It is all downhill from here. This is great news, but I now have to negotiate the complicated path that is Tallulah and her reaction to massive changes in her life, however positive. She is the only one from her school going to this new school, so it will be huge. We will approach with caution.
I have also applied for Oscar to start school locally as of September. We have talked about this with him. It will be a huge change for him. The girls have always led a very peripatetic life with us. He is the most settled of my children, only ever having gone to one school, and one nursery. He has only a dim recollection of the many houses we have lived in. He is immensely rooted in his very happy life. It will be a shock for him to change things, and like Tallulah, we are negotiating that change from now, to try and make it easier for him when it comes.
He will, hopefully go to school just round the corner from where we live, instead of fifteen miles away. This will simplify my life, and mean that I am not spending most of my time in the car every day. I should be able to walk him to school with ease. I should also be able to start making a life of my own in the place where I live, rather than somewhere else entirely. I shall stop volunteering at the school too. I have already started cutting down my hours.
I think that all of these changes are positive ones, and if they turn out not to be positive, then we will make other changes until we find a way of living that we are happy with. They are just fairly monumental changes, and ones that we have made in a very short space of time. They will play out over the coming months and we will be able to make adjustments and tweaks along the way. In the meantime please excuse me if this blog becomes rather more deranged and rangy than usual. I’ve got a lot going on.