Planting the seed
The best advice my Mother-in-law gave me (amongst many other pearls) was to plant the seed.
In the early days of my Husband and I being together, I was pregnant. So it wasn't me planting any seeds, he did that already (sorry Sandy)! And during this time, he and I were reassessing our life which was shaping up to be vastly different to what we had imagined a year before, when we met. We drempt of travelling and living abroad, meeting new people and to me it felt necessary, to him, he said, exciting.
We shared a love of music, and moving to it (refraining from calling that dancing now I'm a grown up) and spending time with good friends. In barley lit clubs. Followed by watching mesmerising Gold Coast sunrises from whatever headland or beach or park with play equiptment we found ourselves at.
Writing "clubbing" sounds naff and "raving" even more so and we were those people and look, you may have been too, so...HANDS UP! And give me a moment to remind you of Sandstorm by Darude. Now it's stuck in your head, ill continue. This was a reimagining of life. Our plans of travelling from Canada to Cape Horn in a converted ice-cream truck (obviously not the entire distance- realising planes and boats also being required), a plan hatched one morning at dawn on a beach somewhere was thwarted by the exceptional swimming abilities of my now Husbands sperm.
Yes sperm. Changer of plans, pants and another P word that being a Midwife, Mother, Master of International Public Health you'd think I wouldn't have an issue writing it but knowing my MIL is reading I'm going to refrain from writing penis.
With the great ice-cream tuck adventure on pause and a baby to grow and a relationship to navigate, I turned to my MIL often with bewilderment. For she who knew him since he was born, also knew how to influence his decision making. Her advice was golden. Plant the seed, eventually the idea will grow and my friends this was a life saver.
The thing about a seed, however, is that it rarely looks like it does on the packet when in full bloom. And I wanted to travel. I wanted to see the everything, the bright, the gritty, the guts of the world. See, I had travelled. I did the UK working visa, gap year, basically work in London thing BUT I had regrets of not seeing more. For my Husband who was a born and bred local boy, with a huge family and work that kept him satisfied, he was content. Meanwhile, my wanderlust left me gazing through Travel agents windows with a growing belly and a diminishing bank account. My Husbands parent's suprised us with a trip to Fiji in the August of that year and although it rained almost the entire stay I held onto every moment, to save as memories, even the plane trip was wonderful!
Now, our eldest Poppy cringes whenever I talk about wanting to do the Canadaventure with Dad and cannot believe that we didn't bail to Canada and have her there, for the passport she could have had! Which I'm pretty sure she couldn't have had anyway in 2002. But she'll continue to argue anyway. And so she was born in the same hospital as her Dad and we travelled three minutes home to our cute house and time passed on and life had begun. Travelling was something other people did then.
It was hard seeing past the hedge in front of the fence, not only because it was growing taller everday but because we had established a safe suburban life that kept us still. We had a dog, chickens and goldfish. We had family around us, our biggest supporters and a baby girl who was adored by all. She was our big wide world and every day was an adventure.
Six and a half years passed by full of fun times and we made new friends and enjoyed their kids and shared our lives and now four girls with our loved ones. We eloped to Vanuatu during this time and had a glimpse of the tropics. It was magic. And then, my longing to travel took a backseat. I lived vicariously through others. My bestfriends spent time living in Japan, Hong Kong, the US and Canada. My Husbands parents travelled frequently and returned with stories of beautiful island places and the way my own Mum spoke about India, it let me see it, although through her eyes. My cousin, working on a cruise ship sent photos from as far as the Carribean and even the Arctic. I spent afternoons on the phone with my big brother after he recieved the CD 'mix tapes' I'd post him and he'd give me an audio tour of The Kimberly's, in Western Australia. I was genuinley happy for my family and friends, getting out into the world and experiencing life beyond the confines of suberbia. It wasn't until my little sister arrived at our place just after our youngest Olive was born and left a few days later to pursue her working Visa in the UK that the passion from travel returned and at that point (yes, days after giving birth) I'd already decided I wanted to help women as a career.
It wasn't that my Husband was unaware of my wanderlust but he was (and still is) more practical. Thankfully. I'm sure the seed for many plans have been planted along the way between the both of us and I expect my dear MILS advice is not exclusive, rather I've found myself coming around to ideas that I was otherwise unfased about previously. So as give and take as a relationship is and should be, there is always room for Jedi Mind Tricks, especially if endorsed by the Matriarch of the family.
Fast-forward two years and I find myself sitting in class at university SPELLBOUND by a Midwife just returned from a stint in Africa. At home that evening, with four kids racing around the front yard under the sprinkler, I told my darling Husband that really wanted to travel again. Days later he suggested we see more of Australia before taking on the rest of the world and I hugged him.