Posted in Family life, Health and fitness, Other stuff, Women's issues

Goodbye my dear son. Have the time of your life in Bali!

Most mothers adore their children and this attachment makes it extremely difficult to undo the apron strings. I’m trying to undo mine at the moment but they’re a little twisted and uncooperative.  I’m ready to let the apron go and watch it flutter to the floor, really I am – but…

It’s the ‘what ifs’ that worry me a little but not enough to keep the apron on because I do want him to experience life and forge his own path.

So it’s purely selfish reasons that my strings are knotted. I know mothers aren’t allowed to be selfish because we are the givers but here’s a few reason’s I like having Joel around:

  • He’s not only my son (who I love unconditionally) he’s also good company.
  • I’ll miss our chats (usually me talking and him giving less-than-forthcoming details), our companionable silences as he steams broccoli and I try and get past his biceps to get the rest of the family’s (normal) dinner underway.
  • I may even miss his health and fitness obsessiveness, even though we all complain about the smell of his boiled eggs and tins of tuna.
  • He has an easy smile and the way he gives me puppy-dog eyes when he wants something is endearing (and annoying at the same time).
  • I’ll miss sharing episodes of ‘Home and Away’. I’m sure that whilst he was in the womb he was learning the theme song so we’ve been watching it together for nearly 20 years.
  • He brings beautiful young girls home who I grown to love because they are sweet lovely people. He’s not a womanizer and is loyal and kind. Although his friends say he’s the one who attracts the chicks.
  • I’ll miss his footballer friends and the camaraderie that only teammates share. I’ve already offered Joel’s bed to some who can’t get home and this may help me miss him less.
  • He has a beautiful nature and is a leader, team player and firm friend. Everyone he meets adores him. (Some even cried at his going away party).
  • I don’t know what Bevil (my husband) and I will do on weekends now that we won’t have Joel’s rugby league games to watch. Just possibly we’ll have a weed-free garden as a result because we’ll spend more time at home.
  • I’ll no longer have a personal trainer at my beck and call (hey that never happened as he was always too busy making money, or trying to).

But also there are things that I won’t miss at all:

  • Muddy football boots at the front door.
  • Stinky compression gear, socks and footy shorts.
  • Messy bedroom with a mattress on the floor because it was more comfortable than his bed.
  • Toilet seats left up and empty toilet roll holders on the floor.
  • Wet towels on the floor.
  • Hair from the latest number-two cut on the sink and floor.
  • Half a dozen protein shakers on my kitchen bench.
  • Sports bag at the dining room table.
  • Empty cups with green tea teabags at the bottom.
  • Dishes in the sink.
  • Stinky overflowing bins.
  • Picking on his younger brother because they are poles apart in life goals.
  • Taking up the driveway with his car.
  • Yelling at everyone to be quiet and turn off the lights at 8.30pm (like an old man).
  • Stinky toilets after number twos.
  • Stinky kitchen after a carbo-loading cookups.

Hey, that is a lot of stinky stuff and I didn’t even mention farts!!!

But of course the reason for Joel’s departure is an offer to work at a resort in Bali as a personal trainer and it’s the trip of a lifetime so I have to be glad for him. He already wanted to go overseas to work and was planning to go to Canada before this offer came up. He’s also still on the recruit list for firefighting in Queensland. By keeping his options open something wonderful happened to him.

I couldn’t think of anything better for him than living in an exotic destination with a different culture to immerse himself in. He’ll be doing a job he is extremely good at and building a career profile that will be hard to match.

He’s made a hard decision to leave his team in the middle of the football season but I told him to follow his heart and do what felt right. I would have done the same thing at his age and still remember my trips to Bali in my twenties fondly. I know he’ll do the same.

Good luck my beautiful son Joel from Mum, Dad, Kris (keep safe), Elise and Blake.xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

PS. Blake will miss you buddy and I’ll try to keep him out of your room, but remember when he copies your style he’s flattering your taste and telling you, in his own way, that he loves you as I know you love him.

Thank you to all Joels’ wonderful friends who came to his farewell party to wish him luck. Thanks to Peter, Joel’s long-time mentor, Uncle Bill, Craig and coach Aaron for representing his football community and PT work. Special thanks to Carole, Emma, Lucy, Will and Loren for helping with the food (and alcohol) and of course my own family who never fail with desserts. Bevil for the barbie among other things (oh, the heart-felt speach). Blake for pinching everyone’s grog.

Gina's awesome farewell cake for Joel.

A special thanks to Gina and James for the cake Gina spent hours on. Not only was it a masterpeice, it tasted like HEAVEN!!!! Mmmmmm!!!


Donna Munro is the author of The Zanzibar Moon and Kendwa's Secret, freelance writer, blogger, graphic artist, content writer, book marketer, administrator, web editor and book reader. She's been published in Take Five, The Australian Woman's Weekly, For Me, She, That's Life, Woman's Day and Club Life (as well as smaller publications). In 2017 she formed Warm Witty Publishing to self publish her debut novel 'The Zanzibar Moon'. Donna lives on the Gold Coast with her husband, youngest son and the weirdo Staffy Mahli. She adores being a grandmother but still feels young. She often joins her husband's pool cleaning business, just for fun (but is unsure if she's all that helpful). She keeps fit and has a fondness for elephants (she sponsors Tundani in Kenya) and owls. You'll often find her digging her toes in the sand while reading a novel at the beach.

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