Tuesday, 24 August 2010

The Returning

We cruised into our driveway on Sunday morning - clutching imperative coffees.

Three weeks of uninterrupteed sleep, *actual* conversations, no dirty nappies, no mundane chores. Did I even really have children? It didn't seem so. Our last few days on holiday resorted to me going up to strange women in the street, cooing over their kids. "I have some at home, you know!"

They had been waiting for us all morning - balloons and a big "Welcome Home!" banner. Rocco came running right up to the car - Dave and I spoke at the exact same time:

Dave - "Look how big he is!"
Me - "Look how tiny he is! Oh my God he's so little - I left him!? How could I leave him for so long?"

And so it began ... the returning, the homecoming, the gifts from strange lands. Max confided to me that he started crying on the second day we were away. "I just missed you so much mum. I kept asking Rocco did he miss you too, but he wouldn't answer."

He looked at some photos of New York, and noticed the golden arches. "MUM! IS THERE A MCDONALDS IN AMERICA??"


I believe I am more culture-shocked being home then I ever was while I was away. The streets are a little - boring. And quiet. No yellow cabs, no crazy markets to haggle in. Not even ONE rice paddy, or street spruiker.

It's fucking FREEZING.

I must have stared into the pantry for a full ten minutes this morning, before I forgot what I was looking for. (What does an 8-year old boy eat for his school lunch? I have absolutely no idea.)


Before it all fades, I may have to write here every day for a while. The Real Bloggers of BlogHer. What happened in Ubud. Dave and the Bag up the Rockefeller. The Toilet Story. The Day my Online Friends walked out of the computer and became my IRL friends. How, if you get a heavy period in Bali ... you go to buy tampons but after looking at the dead flies in the toothbrush packaging you buy pads instead ... and walk around feeling like you're 14 years old again.

(I probably won't write a post about that last one, because that would just be crass.)


On the day we flew back into Australia, Bono kindly softened the blow of the holiday being over ..... announcing tour dates in Sydney this December. I'm meeting him this time, oh yes.


Rocco is a tornado. FULL ON. And I have absolved all parental rights for a while, because of the huge guilt at leaving him. Every night while we were away, he crept upstairs to Max's bed and snuggled in with him. Now he runs in to us, standing one inch away from my face at 5am - "TV MUMMY?"

Some re-adjusting is in order.


It's back to mounds of washing and cleaning up toys and shitty nappies and juggling work and meals and kids and overdue school projects. I lit some incense this morning, to remind myself of the seething mass of humanity that is Ubud. And I placed my $12 Statue of Liberty on the kitchen table - it's not even broken yet!

One thing I didn't have time for in New York was the Guggenheim:

So I brought it home and Max built it for me instead. He made me promise I will take him there one day ... and I will:

On our first night home, Rocco fell asleep as I was dressing him in his pyjamas. I held him and rocked him for ages, whispering amazing tales and professing overflowing love:

Was I ever really there?

Last night, I was too tired to even heat up the yummy leftovers. So I ordered pizza. And watched the best Broadway Show of all .... "The Max and Rocco Comedy Revue, " starring Max, Rocco, and their respective boogers, farts, burps, and shaggy hair:

I would sell tickets, but I can't - priceless.


  1. OHHH I am so looking forward to hearing more stories.... even if they are about periods. Life goes on when you get back from holidays. And the come down can be quite sharp! And you have to cook!
    Mrs Woog

  2. I have a friend who lived in Cambodia for 12 months... every month we posted her tampons!!!

  3. Who's dirty fucking feet are they????

  4. Linda - why, they are my dirty fucking feet! Why do you ask, Two Dogs?

  5. I didn't recognize your feet not dressed in Chanel...

    Mate, how right was I about Bali? You're all like, "get a geography lesson, TB, Bali isn't exotic to Aussies, it's the Jersey Shore..." Heh.

    I can't wait to read all that you have to write about your travels. Your homecoming story was as precious as those little yummy boys of yours who are beyond adorable.

    I'm trying to figure out how to ship you half and half.

    Enjoy being home and I can't wait to come visit you. It should be about 20 years until I've saved up for first class seats (cuz there's no fucking way I'm flying 20 hours in coach, mate. you know this). Tell Dave, my second Aussie friend, hello!


  6. Coming home is wonderful - especially with a built-in comedy show!

    Oh, and HA! Is there a McDonald's in America? Only on every 3rd street!

  7. Welcome home, my dear! Glad you had such a fabulous time on our fair shores. I just got caught up with your blog - you sure had a blast, didn't you? Can't wait to hear more stories.

  8. So glad you made it home safely and that you've had a wonderful homecoming with your boys.

    Loved LOVED meeting you! Am putting your gift to me to good use. You'll see.


  9. you so deserved this trip- both of you.
    next up? israel!

  10. I'm so glad you had a good time! The boys are so adorable! I can't wait to read all about your adventures!! I think my stomach flipped when I read the bit about the dead flies in the tooth brush pkg... Holy cow!! That's so creepy!

  11. I'm so glad you're home safe and sound with your little stinky tornadoes of sweetness.

    Cannot wait to hear about your trip to NYC. Cause guess what? I'm going there in October! Squeeeee! Just found out this morning and we are now frantically trying to book stuff and get everything sorted. Manny has a work thing there and C and I get to tag along. So please submit burger recommendations etc. (Although one of the best burgers in my life was in Oz...)

    The only bad part of my trip to New York is that you won't be there...

  12. I don't know why but this post made me tear up. I guess I know the feeling of being removed from your everyday life, with or without kids. And your everyday familiar life suddenly looks and seems so unfamiliar. Every time I come home from Europe (God, I made it sound like I do that ALL the time), I marvel at how everyone speaks English and I can understand everything.

    And sometimes, my big 3.5yo, tries to cuddle in the chair with me before bed. And I try to imagine that he was once this tiny little baby in my arms and now I have these big legs all over the place. But I hold him and kiss him and let him fall asleep. Because you have to savor every moment, wherever you are.

  13. I believe that they missed you like crazy! Give yourself some tme to adjust!

  14. No matter how much fun you have on vacation it's always a nice relief to be home. Glad you had a cheerful welcome.


Write to be understood, speak to be heard. - Lawrence Powell

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