Sea Change

Goodbye Old Life

We packed up the contents of our house, had all our friends over for the final send off before we hit the road with two small children.

I look around the house we had painstakingly renovated, we had just managed to clinch a record price for it at the height of the property boom, thanks to my good friend who also happened to be a gun real estate agent.

So many memories, birthday parties.. The house has an elevated position overlooking a park, where I often took the boys to play with the various neighbourhood kids and their various friends from the bank balance sapping exclusive private school we had them enrolled at before birth.

I had fallen into a world all of my own making, the high pressure job as a senior project manager for a major international corporation, doing regular travel to Europe and often interstate, managing take overs of companies, or implementation of major projects. Paid obscenely well however many a night I rang my children to wish them good night as the team laboured away on yet another impossible deadline.

The commute to work took almost an hour in the peak hour traffic although we only lived some 15 km from the city. We dropped the youngest Brendan off to day- care at 8.00am, and Sebastian at primary school afterwards.

Whilst the other parents mingled in the classroom chatting, I would rush in, dressed in the requisite suit and heels, grappling backpacks and managing to eke out brief conversations with some of the mothers I knew.

After five years of this, my husband Jeff and I realised now was the time to make the break, make the move and so we bought not one, but two blocks down south, one for an investment, the other to build the proverbial dream home..

The BMW wagon is now packed to the rafters with our last-minute possessions that didn’t make it into the removal truck. Typical of us, as much as humanly possible is crammed into a day and we make the last drive to pick the boys up from school.

My friend the agent is picking up her child and comes over to the car, smiling ruefully.

We’ll miss you….you guys look like the Grizwalds, my God you’ve even got the dog in the back!

I give her a hug and try not to cry. But am I am making the right decision for us? What if this is a complete disaster, and we hate it down there, I can’t get work and and and…

Instead I smile and hug her.

Visit us soon, we can’t wait for you all to come down for a holiday. Thanks for everything.

The boys hop into the car, excited but sad to wave off their friends.  Jeff deftly reverses the car out into a sea of European four-wheel drives that have never been off-road in their brief lives.

I look back at the leafy green surrounds of the school, the mothers dressed perpetually in gym gear and tennis outfits, and the over-scheduled children and draw a big breath.

Shoal Haven Heads, here we come.


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