2014-07-21 22.12.24 I had to make a tough decision today. When J-Rab and I left South Africa, she took The Cub with her to Boston for two and a half weeks while I focussed on finding a job and a place for us to live in London.

Time slipped away and before I knew it, the two and a half weeks were almost up and I’d found nothing, so we paid to have J-Rab’s return ticket postponed for another two weeks, making her return date this Friday.

Problem is, despite countless meetings, interviews, positive conversations and optimistic recruiters, after a full month of being here I still have nothing.

During the month we’ve been apart, J-Rab has been amazing at sending me photos of my daughter, sharing funny stories about the things she does and putting her on Skype as much as possible, which has made it a lot more bearable.

Still though, it doesn’t change the fact that my baby girl is changing and growing and experiencing things for the first time and I’m not there.

If you have kids, you can imagine what this is like or maybe you don’t have to, maybe you’ve experienced it yourself. If you haven’t had kids, I can only explain it in this way.

The two most amazing things about being a parent are watching your child grow and learn and adopt quirky little mannerisms that they learn from you, and being able to take your child in your arms and comfort them when they’re sad or tired or afraid or hurt.

I worry that when I next see my little girl, she would have adopted a whole bunch of mannerisms that are totally alien to me, that I have no idea who or where they come from, that make her fundamentally different to the perfect little bundle I kissed goodbye over a month ago.

But more than that, I worry that when she’s hurt or sad or scared I won’t be able to comfort her the way I could when she left, that she won’t want me, this guy who was there all the time and then just left for no reason.

I had to make a tough decision today. I had to decide between having J-Rab and The Cub return on Friday to a life of turmoil in which I have no job, am bouncing from one friend’s spare room to the next and am rapidly running out of money, or to extend their ticket again, this time by an entire month, so they can stay on in Boston with J-Rab’s mom where they’re safe and loved and looked after.

For purely selfish reasons I wanted them back. Long distance is hell, but long distance when you have a baby is ten times worse. “Everything will work out,” I reasoned, “just bring them over and figure it out as you go along.”

Problem is, sometimes things don’t work out. Sometimes, despite your best efforts, worst case scenarios start erupting like volcanoes all around you, spewing ash clouds of doubt and lightning storms of anger and resentment.

I have a roof over my head until the end of August. After that I have no idea where I’m going to live.

I don’t care either, I’ll find a way, I always do. But to drag J-Rab and The Cub into that is not fair and besides, I can’t bear the thought of the three of us holed up somewhere, relying on nothing but the slowly waning hospitality of our friends and families.

I had to make a tough decision today, but I made it none the less. J-Rab and The Cub will join me in London on the 5th September and shortly thereafter we will throw the biggest party you could ever imagine.

At this party there will be balloons and there will be cake and there will be clowns and there will be jumping castles and trampolines.

There will be all our friends who live here and all our family and we’ll be together and we’ll be happy and not for one second will we take one another for granted because all you have in this life are the people who love you.

It has to be the biggest party there ever was because it will be The Cub’s first birthday party, and it will be 26 days late.

She turns one on Tuesday.




3 Responses to “Tuesday”

  1. 1 Milli
    August 7, 2014 at 5:49 pm

    Strength to you Papa Tiger xx

  2. 2 Stuart
    August 8, 2014 at 4:45 pm

    Big love to you my brother from another mother, brilliant wee post and know exactly where you are! X

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