It is with great pleasure we share this story from Our Life Story guest writer, Olivia Wilson – The Wilsons Of Oz. Olivia has found her feet in Australia and often shares her thoughts and feelings of what it is like to live away from her family and friends in the UK.
We hope this story inspires you and others to stop and think about what is important to you and how you spend this precious time with family and friends over Easter.
“Time to Embrace Something New”
We are a week off Easter, the school holidays are well under way here in Victoria, and like always, whenever a “holiday” is upon us, I start to think about what it means and will mean in the future to my expat children. Yes, I read far more into everything than they do, I mull it all over, and I hug them that little bit tighter. They just shrug me off, and tell me I’m mad.
As an expat far from home, special occasions can be odd. Friends go to family parties or they go on family holidays. We tend to celebrate very differently to how we would have done back at home, surrounded by family.
Recently I have got to thinking about Easter, and what memories it will hold for my two, when they grow up and become parents themselves.
Easter for me as a child, when we were at home in the UK, was family time. I would have Easter egg hunts in the garden with my grandparents, and go to bed at night feeling lucky that Nana and Grandad would still be there in the morning. I can’t remember the Easters we spent just the four of us, overseas. I often wonder why that is? Maybe the memory box in my mind, has just saved the really special ones? Grandparents have that special power to make everything turn into a wonderful memory.
My children are still adjusting to our special occasions being celebrated by just the four of us. This isn’t to say we don’t have anyone to party with, but like any holiday, it feels that little bit more special for the children when it’s celebrated with relatives.
There’s nothing wrong with enjoying Christmas day on the beach, or spending Easter Sunday playing games, just us, but I worry that maybe being so far away from our loved ones means the children are somehow missing out on something. I worry that they are going to become incredibly bored with spending so much time with just mum and dad, and that as soon as they hit 18 they’ll be out of here, running for the hills, not looking back.
We are one of those families who like to celebrate all Christian holidays, with lots of fuss and no church. This doesn’t mean I don’t explain to the kids the reason we have Easter, Lent and Christmas, but Easter to us is more than popping into church. It’s teaching my children about new life, about looking at themselves, making sure they are growing into the best person they can be, and encouraging them to start something new. Easter Sunday is celebrated by doing something new, giving birth to a new idea we can all celebrate, or by becoming a new, better version of ourselves.
I want my children to use Easter to make a special change in their lives. I want them to use this holiday to do something wonderful for someone, to make a new friend or to tread a path yet untrodden.
I try my hardest not to let my kids feel like they are missing out by not having family nearer, even when they see others celebrating with grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. I try to show them how lucky we are that we have such wonderful friends, who look after us, whilst we are away from home, and how wonderfully exciting it is to be us!!
Why do I constantly feel guilty? I guess it’s all down to the perception that our lives aren’t “complete” without those special people. In reality however, those people are in our lives, they are in our hearts, and even this Easter when we are celebrating with our Aussie family, I will still be teaching the children about making the best of everything. I will be showing them how to create new adventures by feeling free to be wherever we are in the world, whoever we are with!
Happy Easter xx
Easter is the only time it’s safe to put all your eggs in one basket – Unknown
Visit www.OurLifeStory.Club to get your FREE “10 Questions That Will Get Anyone Talking About Their Past”. It is the perfect opportunity to sit down with family and share these questions during Easter. You and your family will be surprised what you discover.