The 24 hour wait was over, we received confirmation that she had landed safe and sound back in the UK and was reunited with her boyfriend and his mum.
We agreed prior to her leaving that regular communication was a must and I think she understood that to mean “face time me EVERYDAY… because she called everyday! ‘That’s ok with me!’ I thought!
Her first few days were spent sleeping, eating and getting used to being back in the UK. Whilst it was something that she was familiar with, it was also quite a change for her. We were not there, the safety net of her own home was gone, her friends were moving out of London, to Uni, she was studying online and she had responsibility for driving her own art business. There was a lot going on for her and the daily calls really helped to reassure her that we were still here to support her and help guide her when needed.
I have seen so much growth in her over the last six months. She is very much an introvert (like her dad), so simple things such as making her own doctor’s appointment were new to her. She always found a way to get me to do it for her. She was learning to budget and priorities her spending and had to learn the skill of time management with self guided learning and her online art business. I think the latter is still some what of a struggle for her, but in the next 6 months, when she is back in Australia, we can take the time to support her with this.
Over the coming years when their careers are established further and in the next 10 years (yes 10 years) when they think about starting a family, they have some really big decisions to make. Aside from the usual considerations we all have, they have to also think about the where. Not just where to have the baby, but longer term like finances, support networks, connections with family etc. Like I said, they are only 19 so they have ages to think about this, but these are the things that I think about daily.
The moment that changed me forever was the moment my first child was born. I was happy, filled with hope and thought ‘now I understand the whole point of work, of life, of love.
Whilst in London, they managed to save enough money for a return flight back to London. They will be with us in Australia for six months over the summer. When they were finding their way in London, each day they would do new things that make me smile. They are really embracing the situation and navigating each twist and turn like pros.
We spent many hours (often 3-4) on the phone catching up daily, planning the future, supporting one another; her helping us with decisions, us helping her… and overall trying to continue our family life as normal as possible.
Ahmed was a bit more fearful of her returning to the UK for a number of reasons; as outlined in an earlier blog. We have had different upbringings and this was very clear during the decision making process (should she go back to the UK) and whilst she was away. I on the other hand was sad that I could not see her everyday but didn’t worry about a lot of the things Ahmed worried about. I know our daughter, she is sensible, mature, smart, funny, careful, agile etc. She is also a ‘typical’ first child.
First born children are usually, reliable, conscientious, structured, cautious, achievers, want to excel and bask in parents attention. Her worst fear in life would be letting us down. It is estimated that first born children get as much as 3,000 more quality hours with their parents between the ages of 4 and 13. We had our son when she was 8, so that’s a fair few hours of quality time that allowed us to really build the long last foundations. First born children are often ‘mini adults’ and that is true for her; we have seen throughout her 18 years that she thrives on making us happy and making us proud.
Fun fact: 100% of astronauts who have gone into space were eldest children.
When we were pregnant, we decided to wait until the baby was born to find out the gender. It was our first so we didn’t really have a preference; although she was dressed as a boy for the first 6 months of her life because I brought all boy clothes. Something had convinced me that I was having a boy. My mum, after all, had 4 boys before having me. When we had a girl and started to tell friends and family; one of the most common comment was ‘oh… just wait for the teenage years’. So, I had braced myself because I remember what a savage I was when I was a teen. However, I am still waiting for the drama, the tears and the outbursts everyone had warned me about.
I am not going to sit here writing with rose tinted glasses on and say the last 6 months have been a breeze as they have not. They have been emotionally hard as she is literally my obsession and I have thought every single day about her, what is she doing now, said to myself, oh I must bring her here next weekend when I experience something I know she will love. But what I can say with great confidence is that she and I have both grown during this time apart, our bond is as strong as it was before; if not stronger and she has really grown and blossomed.
I would also like to thank my partner in parenting for working with me hand in hand, side by side in raising such a phenomenal young lady.
Thank you for reading this far and for keeping up with us.
As a reward for reading all the way to this point, here is a Mystery Link to get you giggling. “Love!”
Peace, Love & Happiness.
The Jalloh family.