Family matters

September was always going to be crazy. We were going to be just back from our four months in the U.K., E. was starting nursery school, Q. and I were starting our academic year, and we were going back to the clinic for a FET. Lots of transitions, lots of new commitments, lots of scheduling and organization to sort out. We were prepared for it to be pretty hectic.

This week it just got so much worse.

Q. had a phone call. His grandfather- his last grandparent- had died, relatively unexpectedly.

We talked about it and looked at the flights and eventually decided that, yes, Q. would make a lightning trip down under for the funeral, just like he did last October when his grandmother died. We went online and bought Q. a ticket (hooray for emergency funds).

That decision meant I was no longer flying by myself this weekend to go to a family wedding, just as we’d originally planned, thinking it would be too much for E. on top of all the other changes. We went online and bought E. a ticket.

Q. is now going to miss his entire first week of the new semester. With his teaching load this means that he’ll be playing catch up for most of the rest of the year.

I’ve lost almost all of the prep time I thought I would have for my own work.

And all I keep thinking, practically every day, is, thank all the gods my sister is here.

My youngest sister just moved back home. She came in on the Labour Day weekend. She’s staying with us for a month or so while she gets herself organized.

We had already discussed that she might be able to make September a bit easier for us, providing another pair of hands around the house, a willing auntie ready and eager to play trains with her nephew.

I don’t know how we would get through the next week or so if she hadn’t been here. And the last week would have been so much more difficult without her.

She’s coming with me to the wedding so I’m not flying with E. by myself (she’d be going anyway, but not necessarily taking the same flights I’m on).

She’s going to put E. to bed on Wednesday night when I have a make up session for duty day training for E.’s nursery school, as Q. is now missing the training he was supposed to go to this weekend and won’t be back in time for the session I need to attend.

She’s going to play with E. and look after him while I go in to the clinic on Thursday morning for my lining check.

She’s happy to look after E. when it’s time for the FET the week after next.

She’s going to watch him when Q. and I have our first general meeting for the nursery school, and she volunteered to make E. dinner and suggested that Q. and I go out for dinner ourselves in the neighbourhood.

She took E. to the park last week so I could get a bit of work done.

She spent the morning with E. when I had to go in to the clinic for my sonohysterosalpingogram, so that Q. could get some work done.

She plays with him every evening when we’re getting dinner ready.

She’s able to give him that extra bit of attention right when he most needs it, when he’s feeling adrift and confused and worried about nursery school (he’s there by himself this afternoon- Q. left at lunch- and we haven’t had a phone call yet, which I think means everything has gone well).

She is worth her weight in GOLD.

It has been hard to be without family in the city for the last seventeen months. Q. and I haven’t been good about finding a babysitter. We weren’t ready- E. was still so little.

It had been on my (endless) list of things to do this fall, but I wasn’t looking forward to the process.

Having family in the city, having someone who loves our son unconditionally, who genuinely wants to spend time with him, who really truly loves him from the bottom of her heart, makes everything SO MUCH EASIER.

We’re not going to take her for granted.

We’re not going to abuse her willingness to hang out with E., to give us some adult-only time.

But the truth of the matter is I’d be pulling my hair out and weeping at the thought of trying to organize next week with Q. overseas if she wasn’t around. The FET would be just too much to manage on top of everything else. I might have had to cancel the cycle.

She’s keeping our heads above water right now.

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4 Comments

Filed under (Pre)School Days, 2.0 FET#1, Down Under, Family, FET, PhD

4 responses to “Family matters

  1. I’m so sorry about Q’s grandfather. It sounds like a blessing that your sister is back in town and able to help out. My MIL watched our son until he was almost 3, and it was such a huge help. We had some very difficult family situations during that time, and I’m not sure what we would have done without her. Hugs to you and your family.

  2. It does take a village, doesn’t it? When we first moved to our new home, I felt so isolated, stressed and trapped, because we had no family here, and I only knew two people who lived in the city, neither of which I would ever impose on for babysitting, no matter how badly I needed the time to get things accomplished. It was rough. Things are considerably better now that my mom is here.

    I know I’ve already said so elsewhere, but I’m so sorry about Q’s grandfather. My thoughts are with you all during this stressful time.

  3. I’m so sorry about Q’s grandfather.

    Having local family sounds wonderful. Glad you have the help now.

  4. Em

    So, so sorry for your family’s loss.

    I’m glad that you have your sister around for this tough, busy time.

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