It’s that time again

I can’t believe it’s been 11 months since I travelled home to Manila. Time flies so fast, doesn’t it?

Next month the family will be going home again. This time it’s a direct flight so no stop-overs in Hong Kong or anywhere else. Bernie and I are talking about stopping over for 2 nights in Singapore on our way back, primarily because I wanted to visit our newly opened office there. Personally I’m excited about this trip because this is the first time we will be using the new Terminal 3 at the Dubai International Airport, exclusive home to Emirates Airlines. It’s supposed to be a really cool place.

However this trip home is bitter-sweet. We get to catch up with Viel after over 10 months of separation, but Bernie and I will be saying farewell to the rest of the kids as well. It was a tough decision that we had to make, we tried to include the kids in the decision as much as we could but it was obviously something we had to figure out on our own. Bernie’s job is not as secure as mine so if they do not sign new project contracts by the end of May, they have only enough work to tide them over until July. We cannot wait that long. If we do and the odds go against us, it means the kids will miss the start of classes in Manila and we will be too late in organising a trip home, not to mention the rush involved in getting school certificates etc.

We’ve been in the same apartment in the UAE for the past 9 years. It’s a 2-bedroom flat which will now be too big and too expensive for just me and Bernie. So on top of hauling the kids and all their earthly possessions off to Manila, we have to find a new, smaller, cheaper place to live in when we get back in June. Not only that, we also need to do it before we leave next month because our tenancy contract runs out on the 9th June and I doubt if the landlord would show compassion and wait for us to return to Dubai to sort it out.

Not only am I packing the kids and their stuff, I also need to pack whatever items I am keeping behind for me and Bernie.

Yeah, it’s all a bit too much for me. I can’t even begin to think where to start with the packing. This is my children’s entire lifetime. This is the only home they’ve ever known. The trauma is going to be difficult to handle. Yes, my kids, all 4 of them will be together again, that’s a great support system to start with, but even with my parents there beside them I still worry. I’m allowed to worry, that’s what mothers do.

I cannot quit my job to stay home with them. It’s a given fact that when they go on to university they will be away from us, but I certainly didn’t expect the separation to come so soon. My biggest worry is my youngest, Patrick. He is naturally still very attached to me and I just know I will feel his absence more than the others. Does that make me a bad mother?

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