The only real downside of moving to New Zealand has been the fact that we are so far from family and friends. Sometimes you forget just how far away we are from everyone, especially when you can chat face to face over breakfast to everybody via Skype. However nothing compares to seeing people in person and being able to give someone a hug. So we have been absolutely thrilled that my Mum and Dad have made it over to us in time for Christmas.
We have been in New Zealand almost 9 months so its been a long time since we last saw them. Waiting at the airport brought it home just how far they have to come. For the previous day I was bombarded with questions about where Nan and Grandad are now, as if I could give them exact grid co-ordinates describing where the plane was at that particular point in time. In the queue at Pack N save "Wheres Nan and Grandad now?", "Er somewhere over North America". "Wheres that then Mum?"....and so it went on for 26 hours!
Waiting at the airport gate it was clear that the plane was loaded with Grandparents as there were other children waving banners with slogans like "Welcome Gran and Pops". Its clear that New Zealand is full of everyones grandchildren. I felt a bit remiss at not making a welcome banner myself but the girls gave Mum and Dad a great welcome and I thankfully managed to hold back the tears. We have been so busy over the last 9 months that I haven't had time to remember just how much I miss everyone.
The one good thing about living so far away is that when people come to visit you they have to come for a decent length of time. It costs so much and the distance is so great that you can't exactly just pop in for the weekend. This means that the time that my parents get to spend with their grandchildren is fantastic quality time and far more than they would likely to get if we lived around the corner from them. J has introduced Nan and Grandad to all her teachers and school mates. She will be taking them in for Show and Tell next! Of course it also means that my parents can come over for the summer weather and get to see New Zealand at the same time.
I must admit that I love having the extra help around the house and live in babysitters which has meant that P and I have had our first night out in over three years! The only thing that I am not looking forward to now is having to say goodbye to my parents - that is not going to be easy. However we are already planning our trip back to the UK next September so at least we know when we will see everybody again.