moving states

This weekend has been a blur of people, of conversations interrupted by children and life. Of drinking it all in and trying hard not to think too much about what's really happening. Next week, that's next week folks, my sister and her family are moving to Queensland. To settle. As in forever. This has been coming a long time, so it's not as if I haven't had time to prepare myself but well, knowing something is going to happen and it actually happening are two very different things. For some reason I'm thinking of childbirth here, but that could just be because I sat around with some beautiful new mothers and their babies.

I overheard Betty say to someone when they commented on how hard it must be for her family, that we were just trying to help and do practical things. And it's true, G and I have pretty much committed ourselves to helping where we can this week. Things like loading the container, car shuffling and child minding. I've also pushed hard to get a flex day so I can help Betty pack up her kitchen. But in all honesty, my motivations are selfish. I just want to be spending time with her and the littles before they go. Doing things together really seems like the only way this is going to happen in any meaningful way.

In between all the fun bits, I'm having the odd moment of being close to tears or tense with a kind of fearful anxiety. None of my immediate family has ever moved away from Melbourne, except as a temporary thing and that was a long time ago. We just don't do that kind of thing. Until now. Although I did actually think about moving to Tasmania when Gerard and I were first together and we thought we might be able to buy a house, but not in Melbourne. Surprisingly (or not) I was more keen on this than Gerard. For me it represented a new life and new possibilities but for him it would have been something else entirely. My family, especially my mum, were aghast at the prospect. Nonetheless we talked about how we would make it work.

This time, it really is happening. I can't imagine what it will be like. On one hand, I'm full of fear that the planned visits will be too hard or too expensive, that I'll never get leave during school holidays (a distinct possibility) and that relationships will slip in the business of life. I know that happens anyway, but Queensland just seems so far away in more ways than one. We'll be living really different lifestyles, the things we complain about will be different. Or maybe not. Then the optimist in me thinks about holidays in the sun, quality time, having them as house guests in our new extended house (and what an incentive to get moving) and talks on the telephone and parcels in the post. Hell, there is even the internet. It could be OK. We just have to move through those big moments of change. Sigh. Breathe.Yep.


suse said...

Oh that's hard on you.
My brother is in Tassie and my parents in Qld and Brendan's family in England and we're in Melbourne and I wish everyone was TOGETHER. It sucks.
But as you say, the holidays are awesome.
Thinking of you. I guess this means you don't want to come to Bendigo on Saturday for the wool show eh?

kate said...

My partner's sister moved to England, and it is hard sometimes, although for adults it's not so bad. You talk on Skype, you email, you stick your photos on flickr. It's hard sometimes explaining to the kid who this aunty is, who the present came from, why this person is not a stranger. Some of my closest friends have also moved interstate and overseas and in some ways I keep in touch with them more than the people in Melbourne. When a relationship is really important to you it doesn't just disappear if one of you moves.
Sucks not to have a sister around for playing and cups of tea and babysitting and such though.

Stomper Girl said...

As Kate says, losing the practical on-hand family support will be hard, but at least these days we have the internet for extra connectedness. You'll have to learn skype.

pen said...

Tell B that I hope the move goes well- it's ages since I've seen her!
Think of all the wonderful Queensland op shops that will now be possible!
pen xxx

mary said...

That beautiful photo of feeding the babies.
I feel for you so much - big deep breaths and shed the tears if you need to..
driving trips to Queensland can be fun you know..

fiveandtwo said...

It was strange to read this post. I come from a dispersed family, even before my siblings and I were born.
I'm very happy to live far away from parents and siblings. I find a two week "holiday" visiting them very stressful!
I think friends form family where I am. I'd be really sad if a close friend moved away.

Sian said...

This is so odd for me...Iam an ex Coburg girl or around those parts who has come up to the UK kids in tow for the past 3 yrs. We are now about to move back to the NSW/Queensland border having never lived in those parts..Iam a bit stressed
It is comforting seeing your sister moving to Queensland even though we dont know you guys- and we too are negotiating a container but to be shipped from way up here to the same spot...strange but poetic.
Ps My brothers and sister and I live in three different countries it is hard to catch up esp since we all have kids but the times we do are special and with lots of varied holiday will get used to blocking out time together its a different way but it can be good...

Eleanor said...

It's the beginning of a new adventure for both you and your sister, with many long phone calls, surprise packages in the mail, newsy emails and glorious shared holidays in the future.
I know that sounds kinda Pollyanna....but having lived away from my own brother and parents for so many years I do know this to be true!
P.S. I miss you.

Alby Mangroves said...

The closest thing I came to this experience was when Jenni moved to Newcastle because her hubby was posted there with the RAAF. This has happened twice now, with a bit in the middle where he scored a job at a base in Melbourne, so in effect, I've had to say goodbye to my friend twice, knowing how our lives will be too busy to really stay totally in touch. It's hard; she's my sister more than just my friend really. It's difficult not to have each other at hand, and for our kids to grow up far apart. I hope there are lots of interstate holidays coming up in the future for you x

SmitoniusAndSonata said...

We all live in different places too and miss being able to pop over for an afternoon or meet in town for a coffee . But phone calls and emails help .And you really appreciate the times you can all get together !

Suze said...

My partner and her sister live in different cities and have one of those mobile phone plans where they can talk free to each other for 15 minutes at a time. They speak literally every day. And then there is Skype, which is very easy to download and use - and apparently you can call mobile phones from Skype for free, so you don't always have to line up time when you're both online.