Are we there yet?

Tina 1

Remember those family road trips to the old fibro holiday house or the caravan? Everyone crammed into a medium sized sedan, packed to gills with fishing rods, bait and eskies. And three kids in the back shouting all at once: “Are we there yet?” “Can I have an icecream?” “I need to go to the bathroom.”

I’m fairly sure that for my mother, those holidays would not have satisfied my life rule of “it has to be better than staying home.” It was all work and no play for her. I’ve tried hard to have more fun a long the way than my mother did. Nobody likes a martyr. But it is still hard work being a parent, even of the best children on earth.

Now I find myself on the cusp of my very belated gap year, saying exactly the same thing as we did in the back of the old Sigma. “Are we there yet?” I have been holding my breath for a very long time, just trying to get to the end. The end for me is the end of this era of having to worry about everyone else. I am tantalisingly close to a new era, when it is OK to choose myself. Don’t get me wrong, I love all of the people in my life so much, but I need time for me like I need air.

The great irony is that while I am writing this story my son trips over something in his bedroom, rips a giant piece of skin off his foot and requires first aid. So the answer is we are almost there… but not quite!

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