Punctuation Marks

I’m not going to lie. I can’t. My Mum raised me well. When I fell pregnant with Eva, I thought my life was over. Not in a “I’m going to die” kind of way (although sleep deprivation is used as a form of torture in some countries) but in a, “I’ll never do anything adventurous again” kind of way.
Then Matt (my gracious and wise husband) sat me down for one of our chats… As he is the king of abstract metaphorical thought, he simply but profoundly said, “Some people see having children as a full stop to their careers, savings or adventurous pursuits but we need to see having children as something that enhances our lives – like punctuation marks in a sentence.” Being an English Teacher, my ears perked up to this metaphor and I began to unpack the layers of meaning. It was true (well for punctuation anyway, I was still gestating a baby at this stage). Sentences would be pretty drab without punctuation marks. They would. Dont you think
This last 4+ years of conceiving, gestating, birthing (my fav part – not even lying), raising and developing a relationship with our children has certainly enhanced our lives. They are small but at oftentimes very significant marks on our complex, compound and on some days just regular simple sentences.
After being in three different countries, three different time zones (which we have found affects toddlers quite significantly) and three different beds over the past three days, my darling husband kindly reminded me this morning about the punctuation mark metaphor. I think his encouragement came shortly after I said something to the effect of, “What the hell are we doing here?”
We have made it to Ho Chi Minh City and our kids have been such amazing, little, resilient adventurers. Many times they have needed this ( ) – the necessary hug when they give you that look like, “Where are we and why do these people want to touch my blonde hair?” We have also dealt with a few of these ones |||| – a punctuational representation of queuing for almost any process at the three airports we have now encountered. There have mostly certainly been lots of these ? And, now that we are in Vietnam, we have heard a few of these !!! (For example: “Look at that man! He has no shoes on and he’s sweeping with a bunch of sticks!” “I don’t like the poo smell everywhere!” And, my personal favourite, which occurred in our very small hotel room tonight, “Be quiet you two!” – Eva to me and Matt who were clearly interrupting her beauty sleep).
As I go to bed and hope for at least 5 hours of sleep (it’s improving an hour each night – I don’t have enough time to tell the story about how we had 3 hours of sleep on Sunday evening after I thought I’d thrown my prescription sunglasses into the wheelie bin…) I am so thankful for our two kids who have embarked on this crazy punctuation-filled adventure with us.
What’s the plan for tomorrow? Enjoying our kids. Enjoying this place. And continuing to eat amazing food.

3 thoughts on “Punctuation Marks

  1. When I was over in August, lovely June and I spent some time on family research.
    Four of of Matt’s great, great grandparents emigrated from Europe to Brisbane.
    The Dales left Scotland and travelled for three months at sea with their nine young children. Struggling sometimes with domestic arrangements, I can’t begin to imagine what that must have been like!
    The Kriesches left Prussia and suffered four horrific months on a ship riddled with typhoid and dysentry. More than forty passengers died and they lost their first baby. When they finally arrived in Brisbane, no accommodation was available, so in January heat, they began months of quarantine in tents.
    Neither couple ever had the luxury of popping back to their homelands to see family and friends, as I have. Their new world was one of unimaginable hardship as they survived life in the bush.
    Finding that out made me resolve to never complain about long haul travelling ever again. There have been some horrible journeys – the BA 37 hour epic with a 10 month old baby, the Malaysian Airline nightmare – two asthmatic children in the smoking section for 14 hours.
    And nowadays, the sheer bliss of just 25 hours with Singapore Airlines being fed and watered…marvellous! No hardship. Honest!
    Enjoy your adventure!


  2. So jealous you’re travelling with your kids. And also not jealous, because ‘travelling with kids.” Ha! Seriously, loving the updates and that photo above is so good. Love xxx


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