R is for R & R
One of the benefits to living in (cue ominous music…) The Most Dangerous City in The World, is that the State Department grants us two R&R trips during our – assignment there. Now, you know that we love Johannesburg, and what we have seen of the rest of South Africa. But it is equally true that we need that break. Back when we initially started planning that trip, we really needed it.
Then seasons change, and life alters, and you kind of get on with things. Pudding has just started Kindergarten, and is doing very well. I’ve only been working for a few weeks, and it isn’t the best time for me to be out of the office. I adore Jozi in springtime. The weaver birds are back, the weather is perfect, and it just feels lighter and happier there.
It reminds me of the early weeks when we first arrived, and just couldn’t believe our luck. And then when, inevitably, the trip started to look like more hassle than a break, I wondered what kind of R&R it would actually turn out to be.
And then we actually arrived in England for the first time in almost four years, and it was all worthwhile. It was Cubby’s first time here (outside of the womb) and he revelled in seeing double-decker buses and black cabs in London. Both kids delighted in spending time by the sea- not the ocean. And the kids got to meet their cousins, and spend time getting spoilt by their grandparents, and living, and playing, and being themselves.
We are having the time of our lives. Or a time in our lives. A time of many R-words. We’re recharging, and reconnecting. I’d even go so far as to say we’re resting and relaxing. I knew we needed it, but I didn’t know how much. I’ve taken lots of photographs here, and in almost every one, the kids are smiling.
Who knows, the kids might even start feeling so comfortable with their grandparents that we’ll even be able to have another elusive R-word: a few hours of respite. Because just as we love Johannesburg, but need the occasional break…the same can be said of parenting high-needs children.
And if we can successfully Recharge and Reconnect, we’ll be Ready to go back to Routine. And nothing to do but plan the next Rest and Relaxation, and make sure we don’t wait for four years next time!