I’ve actually been home for over a month at this point in time. I’ve been putting off writing this last post, I think because I was holding on a bit to my life there and this feels so final. But hey, you have to move on at some point right?
My last week in NZ was probably one of the toughest weeks of my life. After returning from Rarotonga I became extremely ill, I ended up having to go to an A&E clinic and found out I had an ear infection on top of the flu and cold I had. Not to mention, that on the Wednesday of that week the new au pair for my family was coming and I had to train her!
I finally started feeling better, but the new struggle of training my replacement started. I honestly think the three days I trained her were my hardest emotional days in New Zealand. My goal was putting the kiddos first so I was trying to have the kids go to her for any problems or things they needed. They were so confused by this and you could see how unsettled they were. I knew how important it was for their transition. As calm and cool as I looked on the outside in front of the kids, I was a torn up mess on the inside. I cried about eight times a day during my last couple of days, so clearly I had my shit together haha. The new au pair was understanding but also on multiple occasions told me it would be nice once I left, since the kids only come to me. My host parents were so lovely, always checking in and talking about how hard it must be. I got lots of extra hugs on those days. They were also trying to convince me to stay up until the day I left, if only!
Over the weekend I looked forward to some normalcy with my friends for my last two days. My two friends, Jackie and Kaela just absolutely went above and beyond. Normally when au pairs leave you just go get a meal together but no, they surprised me with a really nice lunch and a jet boat ride around Auckland. Funny thing was that it was just getting into NZ winter and it turned out that the jet boat rides goal was to get you soaking wet. So by the end our eyes were burning and we were drenched from head to toe, still makes me laugh.
My last day with all the family, I had a brunch with big and little kids. Anna prepared the most lovely little speech and gave me the most perfect present. They got me a necklace, the stone in it means finding a new family and establishing a bond, how perfect.
The day I left was such a sad one, you could just feel it in the air and in everyones mood. Unfortunately, the kids got the sickness that I got and were the most sick that I ever saw them. We went for coffee at Anna’s parents house and then headed to the airport. The goodbye was so hard for me because the kids were so sick at this point that they just wanted mom and dad, so I didn’t even get a hug from them as I left. They obviously couldn’t grasp that this was the final goodbye. I understood completely but it still pulled at my heart strings oh so much.
The first couple of weeks home were brutal. They are my family too and it is so hard knowing that I don’t know when I will see them again. That by the time I do see them, the kids probably won’t remember me really well. I still talk to Anna and the kids and Anna’s parents weekly. They are great about sending me pictures and videos of the kids.
I am so thankful for the experience I had. I was so lucky to meet and love the people that I did. As well as travel to all of the wonderful and foreign places that I did. I feel settled after my trip, I am now ready to move on the the next phase of my life. I move into my new apartment in a new city next week. I’m excited to see what comes next and I try to ignore the little twinge that comes now and then from missing my second family oh so far away.