"Get the table extension out!"
We used to have this big ole cow bell that the mokopuna would love to ring to round everyone up to the dinner table. You'd have to block your ears when you rang it, cos it boomed through the house, but since we did a mini kitchen reno and the bell and the cabinet it was on, was removed, we've had to resort back to shouting out at the top of our lungs now the whānau have moved back. It's been ages since we have had our whānau all in the same country, let alone eating kai together so last night's call to "Get the table extension out, set the table, grab some more chairs, kai is ready" makes me appreciate again how blessed we are to finally have all our children back in Aotearoa.
Our two eldest children and their tribe came back home from Melbourne in two tranches. Both families went through the drama of booking MIQ spots after trying for several months, with one arriving home from MIQ just before Christmas, and the rest of the famz in the New Year. We were marae styles here for a wee while and now our house feels like it was when they were last all living with us 8 years or so ago - except that, our three lil mokopuna that lived with us back then have grown into teenagers, and along with their parents, have brought the noise and life back into the house again!
It's still a settling in period for everyone, us included, even though its nearing two months now. The mokopuna are learning from home this week (and next) as the college is mostly closed due to teachers and students recovering from a recent covid outbreak. Like everyone else we are figuring out our new norm in these everchanging times.
A good friend gave me a cool as diary as a Christmas gift and I marvel through the whakataukī on the pages. There's a few that hit home for me, but this one in particular: Waiho i te toipoto, kaua i te toiroa - Let us keep close together, not far apart, acknowledges to me how much it means to have my whānau home, and to make sure I make the most of that. Although the kids have told me that they miss the big cow bell and find yelling out all over the house for everyone to come to the table a bit tiresome, I love that I can call out to them "Come on, kai is ready". So love having them home.
Noho ora mai, Till next time,
Tracey is the owner of Toru Road. Hear about her and her whānau's journey to establishing her new business.