Once upon a cool evening in Melbourne some five years ago, I received a picture message on my phone of my little sleeping son wrapped tightly in what looked to me like my jumper.
I called Dawn and asked about the coiled child in the clothing and she told me she had tried everything to get Beau to sleep and as unsettled as he was all night, the only thing that got him to sleep was being wrapped up in my jumper.
I recalled a night nearly 25 years earlier when my parents were driving back from Grafton to the farm, through a heavy rainstorm. I was resting on my mother’s chest in the front of the car. I can still remember hearing her heartbeat and smelling the faint scent of her face powder.
I was restfully reassured, so it wasn’t a surprise to me that my son wanted to be settled by the familiar scent of his dad.
Brandon is going to live in the Meyer mansion while I’m away and he joked about smelling my shirts when I’m gone. I laughed, telling him that he would find Rosanna in the cupboard sniffing my clothes as well. It made me think of Beau in my jumper.
I’m going to be gone for six weeks, which is a marathon effort for all involved. I think there may be some nights that are hard for them and some for me. I’m taking a small Thomas the Tank Engine and a miniature Ninja Turtle with me so I can see them in my European rooms with me.
I’ve left them my undone laundry, in the hope that a) they can smell me if they feel lonely and b) my ironing is done on my return. I mean, why else do we have children?
So Beau has turned six this week and a few weeks after I get back, my furry little Chicky turns five.
Yes, there is a whole other cake column to write yet. Everything else in between is an adventure about to begin.