Leaving On A Jet Plane, Again.

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“I miss your brother,” Freya commented about an hour after we dropped him back at his hotel. 

He had flown to Holland from the US on business and had popped over to Norwich for two days on his way back. We’d had a lovely time with him but, knowing it will be a while before we see him again, I was certainly feeling a bit maudlin.

“I miss him too,” I said.

“It would be good if he could live in Norwich.”

“It would,” I agreed, although I know that’s not going to happen. His life (and family) is there.

“We could see him all the time.”

“Yes, maybe.”

“You could do things with him.”

“I could. We all could.”

“And now he’s gone.”

“Now he’s gone,” I agreed.

Then, with typical five year old aplomb, she shrugged her shoulders and said: “Circle of life, I guess.”

Not quite, little one, but it certainly made me chuckle.

~

You’d think I’d be used to him leaving by now. He has lived in the states for many years. At first there was no FaceTime and phone calls were still expensive so we really only caught up when I went over to visit each year, pre-Freya.

If it was just me – and not my parents too –  he would pick me up from Dulles International and, in a bid to stave off jet lag, we would drive to the local Barnes and Noble, in whatever neighbourhood he was living, and I’d look at pretty journals (you couldn’t get them over here then), browse the books and enjoy a hot chocolate at a certain coffee shop chain (also not over here then).

If you know me, you know I’m addicted to peppermint hot chocolate from that very chain (now practically everywhere) but I’ll let you into a secret; at least part of the reason I always like going there is because it reminds me of him. It’s the little things.

I’m lucky in that although he is gone, he isn’t gone. I can still email him, send him quotes from Ferris Bueller and get a response (no one else in the family gets that film) and see him via FaceTime. He has always been an amazing brother and I know if I needed him he would drop everything and come but I think I’ve almost got used to not needing him, as sad as that sounds. It’s just easier.

I was thinking about what Freya said later that night and maybe the five-year-old approach has some merit. While it’s not quite the ‘circle of life’ it is certainly ‘life’. There’s nothing to be done about it, I can’t make him stay – and wouldn’t want to as I know he wouldn’t be happy – so we just need to make the most of it while he is here and the best of it while he’s not.

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Do you have relatives who live abroad? How do you cope with missing them?

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A “Tea-rrific” Valentine’s Gift For Teachers #Bostikblogger

IMG_5449Ever since she went back after the Christmas holiday, Freya hasn’t liked school.

When we talk to her about what’s wrong there’s a different problem every day – “she hasn’t got any friends”, “the work is too hard”, “a boy pushed her”, “she can’t do maths’.

We’ve had tears and tantrums (and that’s just me) but once she gets there she’s absolutely fine – I often don’t even get a proper goodbye. Throughout it all her teachers have been brilliant; addressing her concerns as well as reassuring me that they are keeping an eye on her. As a result, I thought it would be nice to show our appreciation with a small thank you.

A quick search of Pinterest gave me a “tea-rrific” idea and, using the contents of our latest craft box, sent to us from Craft Merrily as part of our role as a Tots100 Bostik Blogger, we set to work.

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We used:

Foam hearts.

Corrugated card.

Ribbon.

Glu Dots.

Mini-pegs.

Heart doilies.

Assorted heart decorations.

Teabags (we later switched to individually wrapped for hygiene purposes, which was Mark’s idea.)

Step 1. IMG_9875

I let Freya decorate the front of the hearts first. While I thought she would just stick on as many hearts as possible, she surprised me by carefully selecting each one (my baby is growing up!).

Step 2.

Using a Glu Dot, we stuck a heart on to the peg (so cute) and then the peg on to the ribbon. We then checked placement in relation to how big the teabag is (I didn’t want it to show from the front) and stuck the ribbon on accordingly.

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Step 3.

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After writing out ‘You’re tea-rrific” on five pieces of card (making sure to explain to Freya that it’s not actually how you spell terrific), I then asked her to sign her name on each before we stuck them on. Freya then decorated the back with stickers.

Step 4.

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We cut the ribbon to size and then stuck another heart at the top (if they want to put them up they can stick Blu Tack on the back).

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I think they look really pretty, I’m tempted to keep them!

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Our love-fest doesn’t end here either. We’ve got some more Valentine’s crafts coming up next week.

Please note: We were sent a box of craft materials for free in return for this post.