Our kids are wonderful. Despite missed connections, unplanned overnight stays, antique planes across the Atlantic with only one kid’s movie to pass the 14 hours, the only time we had one whinge was when Indie couldn’t work out how to get her ears to pop.

The secret of pain-free flying with kids, however, is not genetic dispositions (though Lord knows that helps), but preparation. I always pack a bag of wrapped “surprises” for each of our three – filled with Dollarstore craft and candy distractions. When I sense things going a little pear-shaped, I pull out a ‘present’ for each of them, and if we are lucky, it gains us another half hour of distraction. Once, we got two hours out of a packet of pipe-cleaners: Tim made glasses for each of the kids and then started handing them around to the air stewards. Another time the kids and I spent a few hours at the back of the plane playing with glow-bracelets. By the end of that flight, every steward was wearing one.

If crafts don’t work, candy changes the landscape for a bit.

But if all else fails, I’m not too proud to pull out the drugs. A sleepy kid means everyone is happy – them as well as the poor people who were schelped next to us in the seating plan.

We arrived in Sydney at 8.30am on Boxing Day, having lost 25th December altogether in the international date line, and there was enough happening with Nandie and Poppie’s pool and visits by cousins to keep the kids going for the whole day without so much as a tide-over nap. By 8pm, they collapsed into bed and didn’t stir until 7am the next morning. Jet-lag be gone!

The next day we drove down to our family holiday house two hours south of Sydney ….. and I have been this close to tears ever since.

It’s so crazy: do we ever appreciate what we have until we don’t have it? I look at the shape of the gums, at the crystal clear water, at the big sparkling sky and I want to cry with the beauty of it. St Thomas is where our home in the present is, and I love it. But Australia is the home of my history and  my heart brims to overflow with being here again. To see our kids run in the water and paddle on the surfboard like I used to do in our endless Christmas holidays fills me with gratitude. It’s kind of a passing of the torch of treasures. The beach here is scrappy, lined by bush, shared with parrots and kangaroos. There’s no development, no concrete walkways, no smoothing out or brushing up. It’s un-rearranged by the hand of man, still the way God made it.

Our kids have been full-to-the-brim with all their cousins for the entire time on both Tim’s side and mine. If only for them, and those fledgling but instantly renewed relationships, these short days have been so very worthwhile. But it wasn’t just for them, was it? I’m in love all over again! I say thank you to The Lord every day for letting us come and thank you to my husband for making it possible. My old world, my family around me …. it’s heaven.

And now …. moving time. It’s been quick, a bit painful and absolutely a blessing. Goodbye Oz. On to France via Turkey and Beijing. Oh the things we do for cheap seats!

Happy New Year to everyone. May the coming year be as rich in love for you as it has already started to be for me.


3 thoughts on “Rich.

  1. Kim, I LOVE your description of your holiday with the family down the south coast. We are certainly very fortunate to have the gorgeous landscape and country-side here in Australia, but, like you say, the real beauty is in the relationships. Family is gold. I too have found memories of summer family holidays in coastal towns of NSW. And sharing that experience with your own family is so special. Wishing you and your family a blessed 2014. Love your blogs! Kylie xx
    (nee Smith)

  2. Dear Kim, I am so happy you re-communed with Sydney and I know your parents were thrilled to have you home. We will be cheering for Jesse at the Games. I know he will be a Star! Safe travels and start on your second book, entitled Traveling With Children! You are most resourceful! Chicago and I am sure Toronto have been freezing- minus 16 temps plus wind chill. No school last two days and Jeff is in LA shooting a commercial so Sophie trapped inside with the boys. Safe travels and have a wonderful adventure ( book 3) ! xxAnn

    On 1/7/14 2:56 PM, “The Jesse (John) Tree” wrote:

    > kimberleyparker posted: “Our kids are wonderful. Despite missed connections, > unplanned overnight stays, antique planes across the Atlantic with only one > kid’s movie to pass the 14 hours, the only time we had one whinge was when > Indie couldn’t work out how to get her ears to pop. ” >

  3. Happy New Year to you and you family too! I know how you feel going back to your country, we are from Brasil, and we don’t get to go back there as often as we would like, but when we do and I am close to my family it feels like my heart wants to get out of my chest. My daughter Ellena went into the ocean for the first time in 2010 when she was 10 years old (she was born here) and I can’t forget to look on her face when she tasted the water and it was “realy salty”. I am very happy for you and Jessie is still in our nightly prayers.

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