"Remember when getting high meant swinging on the playground? When protection meant a helmet? When the worst thing you could get from boys were cooties? Dads shoulders were the highest place on earth and Mum was your hero? Your worst enemies were your siblings? Race issues were about who ran the fastest? War was only a card game? The only drug you knew was cough medicine? The only thing that hurt you were skinned knees? And goodbyes only meant for tomorrow? And we couldn't wait to grow up." (not sure of the author of this)
Nine years ago, my parents, siblings, and I moved from Adelaide to Sydney. All eight of us.
About eleven months later I got married and moved up to the Central Coast of NSW.
A few years later my sister Jade got married and moved out also. Within a couple of years, my older brother Andrew, younger brother Phil, and younger sister Alyce were all married and leaving the nest.
Shortly after Mum, Dad, and baby (well, the baby to us) sister Rach moved to NZ for Dad's work. Of course we missed them being close by but there was still the five of us still living within an hour of each other.
Two years on and we are now scattered. Alyce and I still live on the Central Coast with our little families. Andrew and Jade are both in Queensland with their own little families. Phil and his wife are in the US, and Mum, Dad, and Rach are still in NZ. It's amazing how fast things change. It's amazing how you suddenly realize you have grown up. I don't know if being a grown up is all it's cracked up to be though. Things get complicated when you become an adult. You get to make all the decisions but they aren't all easy and if you make a bad one; the buck stops with you.
Earlier this week I came home from five days in Brisbane with my older brother Andrew and younger sister Jade and their families. Despite having more distance between us than we ever have in our lives, we are close. I genuinely enjoy their company and feel like I am with friends. We are parents ourselves now and much has changed in our lives, but it was such a joy to be with them.
But one of the things I like best, is that being with my siblings, I don't feel grown up. We talk about the silly things we used to do as children and the trouble we caused. We call each other by the silly nicknames from decades ago. We discuss how we used to tease one another and the tricks we played on one another. We are all still eager to remind each other of embarrassing experiences of the past. We are happy to simply "hang out".
I am thrilled to be back with my three boys and have missed them every minute I was gone, but it's also nice knowing that distance hasn't changed a thing between my siblings and I. Thanks Jade, Matt, Andrew, and Alex for having me xxx