Life without my babies feels so empty

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  • A man alone: Symonds is missing his wife and children, who have gone to Canada

    A man alone: Symonds is missing his wife and children, who have gone to Canada


The first time you wake up and your children arenít at home, up wells an emptiness that is hard to put into words. Simply put, it is a not a nice feeling.

When you move to the other side of the world itís kind of imperative you prepare for many eventualities. Practically, in theory, they all seem pretty straightforward.

However, my wife and kids travelling to Canada to attend her grandmother, Ethlyn Beronice Boyleís funeral whilst my passport was being renewed wasnít one of those considerations. So here I am, one man, alone, writing about being alone. Pity party on aisle one.

Iím trying to keep perspective, to find things to be grateful for, to be more detached from things, but none of that really works like itís supposed to. Being a parent so far away from your kids is tough!

If youíre expecting babies soon, I donít recommend that only one parent travel with the children ó unless itís an emergency or the babies are at least a year old. Itís just not a fun experience.

Imagine waking up with a part of you missing. I wonít go into detail about which part but I know your imagination is enough to carry the thought. That phantom feeling is always there ó the little laughs, the smells (I donít mean poop, grow up!), the cries, reminding you of a void.

Luckily the world is so connected now (unless you have a really bad data plan), that we can WhatsApp or Facebook message or Skype at almost any moment (time difference considered).

Okay I feel really old writing this, but I remember when you couldnít use the phone and be on the internet at the same time. Also, when you wanted to go online, you had to ask your computer to sing a tune to another computer to get it connected to the internet.

When you wanted to see a video online, you had to wait 30-40 minutes for five minutes of the video to load. Crazy how things change.

Iím not complaining at all about how much easier communication across the world has become; I essentially owe Facebook for facilitating the conversations between my wife and I when we were dating long-distance.

But video chat with my babies is very unfair because it wonít let me reach through the phone and kiss them! Apple has to work on that for the iPhone 8 or whatever theyíre gonna call it.

As sure as the sun will shine in the Sahara Desert tomorrow am I grateful to see my kids every day, no matter where they are in the world. They still recognise me too! Nothing better than that.

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Published Jan 12, 2017 at 8:00 am (Updated Jan 12, 2017 at 4:23 am)

Life without my babies feels so empty

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