A year ago when I stepped into the heaving Emirates plane little did I know I wouldn’t be the same when I arrived home.

Beau turned seven last weekend. He spent the Saturday morning sitting on the kitchen benchtop in his pyjamas, curled up in front of me. His face was pressed against my cheek, so soft and sweet. I stroked his legs as I wrapped my arm around him. We sat like that for what seemed like hours. He would turn occasionally to kiss my cheek.

Chicky was sitting on my knee as I combed his hair with my fingers. I love and adore my sons.

I sat on that plane a year ago, anxious about leaving my boys, excited to go to the continent, both intrepid and happy. I followed a dream that started long ago.

I cut the crusts off Chicky’s Vegemite soldiers and silently admired him chewing as I pondered my year just gone.

My weekends these days seem to fold in with the mini men, more than they used to. I previously kept weekends quite separate, but with the boys getting older I find myself wanting to be with them more.

The balance between spending time with the mini men and many men is increasingly becoming more difficult. Forget getting to know someone over a series of weekends, the time constraints alone strangle that luxury of intimacy.

Add to the fact there is no fence-sitting with me. You either like me or not. I’m either on or off, hot or cold, neither tepid or timid. That doesn’t help my cause at all.

Try as I might, I can’t be something I’m not, especially not after faking it for 30 years.

Reflecting on my trip last year, I concluded that the six weeks’ solitude made me appreciate more what I had at home.

Late one wintry night last August, when the plane touched down, I was expecting a friend to pick me up. A switch I wasn’t aware of was made. I hurried around the corner out of Customs and saw them.

As I knelt down to hold them, I knew life has provided me with a guarantee. Two little men, at least, love me.

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