When dad traveled back in the day he would be gone for 4 or more weeks at a time. In places that sounded fun but you never knew. He would write us letters and I can say I missed him. I find I miss him now as well. But now its more hearing his voice or one of his smart aleck comments that I miss the most. I miss the sound of “Joe’s Bar and Grill” when he would answer the phone. I do that now, when Barb calls home and I know it is her I will answer the phone with some strange greeting like “International Festival of the Arts have you given?” Looking inward and being honest with myself I suspect I was a tough kid for my dad to understand sometimes. I know that because I find the same thing is true with my own children. I love them more than anything on earth. They are the greatest addition to my life without doubt. But sometimes I don’t understand them.
I think that is the hardest job a parent has. When the time comes to let go of your babies and let them be adults. Let them make mistakes, ones that you can see coming from 100 miles away. This isn’t going to work. You know it isn’t going to work but you have to let them stumble and fall. They are a part of you and some part of you that will carry on long after you are gone. But they are also independent humans that have to make decisions and fall down. The one time I fell so hard that well there are many who rightfully never get up when they fall that hard, dad was there (and so was mom). They helped me pick up the pieces and pull myself together. I could have gone to a very dark place, feeling sorry for myself and walling off the world. But mom and dad kept me out in the open and I will never forget that. They helped me past myself.
That is in the end what parents do. We keep the fires lit. We are there when our children fall. But most importantly sometimes we have to watch even knowing they will fall. But you have to let other humans fall sometimes. The ultimate trust is not always saving the day. The ultimate trust sometimes is letting the other person fail, even if it hurts a little.
Back to Australia a few more times. One of the fun things about dad traveling was he always came home with recipe ideas. New foods to try to make at home. He introduced us to foods from around the world (and around the US). From Buffalo Wings to a Rueben dad was always finding new foods that were both fun and tasty. His descriptions of the food he tried were always fun. It made the transition to Thailand easier. Knowing dad would try all the food I was always game. A few times I ended up with something that was too spicy, but I struggled through. By the end the first month it wasn’t too spicy anymore!
We end with an image taken from the Sydney Harbor on the tour. I was using the video camera to take video and stills. I actually ran out of battery before the 2 hour tour was done. It was an amazing mix of history and tour.
I love Australia.
It is a place I have on my bucket list to visit again. That and seeing the recreation of the Shire built in New Zealand. That is another place I really want to see. The rest of my bucket list I’ve actually had an opportunity to see. So that is it! One trip to New Zealand with a stop in Australia. I would like to spend more time around and in the Great Barrier Reef and of course as I said in New Zealand visit the Shire used for the movies. As a LOTR’s fan boy I feel like I have to do that before I die. Its one of those complete life fantasies things.