Living in a different country to family and friends means that time spent together is very precious. My last visit to the UK in May meant lots of travelling to meet up with as many relations and friends as possible. I lost count of how many trains but it was all worth it for the happy reunions!
It's always hard saying goodbye but it has made me value my family and friends even more. And I am stronger and more independent. I am not the clingy, needy mother that I might well have turned into.
I think that my children have benefited - as I am not ringing them up every 5 minutes or nagging them to visit - they have their own lives and friends and are richer for the experience of having to stand on their own feet to a certain extent, knowing that we are always there for support when we are needed. Thank goodness for SKYPE!
I am in constant touch with my own Mum and Dad and know that they are happy for me to live my dream. When we do meet it is because we want to spend time in each other's company and not because of a sense of duty.
BB and GG arrive at the end of the month to spend two whole months this summer....I am counting the days.