When we left WA (almost 7 years ago now) my heart was light and we moved with great anticipation.
We were coming home. Bringing our little family back to where we belonged, where we wanted to raise our children. Where life was good.
Not that it hadn't been good in the West. Life was easy and breezy there. Good times, happy times but we were a long way from our heart's home.
It's mostly the little things I miss - the lemon scented gums, the jacarandas in spring, not wearing socks.
Notably thought, in the first couple of years back, I found myself achingly missing my mother's group. That random group of women who met because we lived in nearby suburbs and all had babies (all girls) at the same time. I know its not for everyone but we had one of those groups from a chick-lit novel. We clicked. We got each other. We listened and talked and shared and learned and marvelled at the amazing transformation that motherhood had made to our lives.
I tried playgroups when we got back here; the hippy one nearby for which I had showered too recently to fit in, the one down in the posh end of town where I had the wrong clothes on the girls...it just wasn't the same. The Doc ended up taking the girls to a dad's playgroup down the road and they all loved it. I cannot rave enough about what a fabulous concept dad's playgroups are and I wasn't even allowed to go. And that was the problem - I was missing out.
When Jack came along I knew a couple of other mums having 3rds or 2nds with big gaps and we've created our own little routine. On Tuesdays we meet at the local park. We have a coffee roster. We bring food. The boys play and run and jump and we don't bother with craft (or healthy eating).
We chat and catch up. We exchange idle gossip (the harmless kind). We never finish a conversation. We exchange parenting tips and mock complaints about our wonderful husbands. We encourage each other in our exercise/study/craft/whatever plans for the week.
We leave refreshed, renewed and reconnected.
It feels good to be part of something again. Something good.