twelve

Page 41 — 43

I was living my dream life. As our little family grew, our free time was spent at the beach or at play parks. And although we lived near the beach and lovely play parks, we took day trips regularly. We loved exploring our beautiful Manning Valley in Bren’s old VW beetle on weekends and taking yearly trips to Queensland’s Gold Coast. 

GRANDE FLORIDA — GOLD COAST

“Mum, Muum.” Trya yelled from the pool. I could see them swimming and jumping off their father’s shoulders from where I was sitting in the lounge area of our poolside apartment.

“What’s up?” I called back, walking to the balcony.

“Dad said do you want to come to Piccolo for a coffee?” Dad was standing waist-deep in the pool beside her, grinning.

“Yes, I do,” I said. “I’ll grab my hat.”

“Can you grab our towels?” Baden yelled.

“Why didn’t you take them with you?”

“What?”

“Never mind,” I said as I walked back into the apartment to get three towels out of the dryer. Why did they never take their towels with them?

This was our last Gold Coast Holiday with the four of us. It’s funny we always know when we are doing something for the first time, but rarely know when it’s the last – I’m in two minds about whether that is a good thing or bad. 

We had so much fun on that trip. If the kids weren’t in the pool jumping off their dad’s shoulders — he was teaching them how to surf at the beach. And when we weren’t doing either of those two things, we were at our favourite little coffee shop planning what to do next. 

 If we had known it would be our last Gold Coast holiday together, we might not have been so carefree.

41.

I had the coffee machine ready to go when I heard Bren’s beetle pull into the driveway. Our afternoons usually went like clockwork. The kids got off the bus, snacked and then went outside to play with their friends. Bren got home from work about an hour later, and we had a cuppa to check in with each other before we trained. 

“Hey,” he said. Kicking off his boots as he leaned against the front door jam. The kids never shut the front door. 

I walked over and kissed him. “Cuppa?” I asked

“Pope catholic,” he laughed.

As I made us a cappuccino each, he jotted down our afternoon training session in his journal that lived on the kitchen bench.

“We were all offered redundancy packages today,” he said.

We knew this was coming. Lots of the casual workers were let go over the last few months.

“What are you going to do?” I said.

“Talk to you first,” he laughed.

“I’ll back whatever you want to do.”

“I’ve been talking to Nigel at Edsteins, and there’s some work there for me. The redundancy will keep the mortgage paid and give us some backup while I do that personal training course and build up the CrossFit at-home sessions. Money could get tight.”

“We can do tight. Look where we live. Old Bar is a holiday destination. We can cut out holidays, weekends away, take away. Rump steak, ” I said, laughing.

“I’m serious,” he said.

“So am I Babe, rump steak will have to go!” I said, still joking. “Look, you have supported everything I’ve ever wanted to do — without question. It’s your turn. Maybe this offer is a sign to follow your dream.”

“Maybe. We might have to downsize. Would you consider putting the house on the market if we have to?”

“Yep, I’d live in a tent with you if I had to. I don’t know how the kids will feel about a tent — or where we’d put their toys, but I’m in 100%.”

42.

“So we’re doing it?”

“Yep, go for it. And we’ll have heaps more time to spend together because we’ll both be working from home.”

“I’ve changed my mind,” he said, laughing.

“You’re such a shit,” I laughed as he ducked from the tea towel I threw at him.

43.

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