Or, ‘In Which We Ran into a Speed Hump in Life, Ordered a Pizza and Accidentally Went on a Metaphorical Journey’
Ahhh My Lovely Vagabonds,
Here I am again in front of my keyboard waffling on. But I call it a journey because it was. Journeys often take you somewhere new, teach you things and leave you with a sense of change. And getting passports for our girls certainly did all that.
Well, that was disturbingly deep. Let’s get on with the part that ultimately leads to laughter and shenanigans.
So, a couple of years ago we decided we wanted to take our kids on a cruise. It had been Bek’s dream forever to leave the country to see new places and discover a whole new world <cue Aladdin music>. On a limited income it was going to be tricky, but we discussed it with the kids and decided that the cruise would be their Christmas(and birthday) gift and we would have a nice quiet Chrissy at home together. We booked a cruise to the Pacific Islands (I was super excited because I had never been to Fiji before) and my parents booked as well. What a family vacation!
I bought new clothes and swimmers, made reading towels for all the girls as they had plans to sun themselves on tropical beaches reading good books. I bought good books. Wrapped them all and put them under the Christmas tree.
Christmas came and went; it was lovely. Everyone was excited about the trip and no one regretted giving up big fancy gifts in favour of our holiday. Unfortunately the excitement didn’t last for long and we had to cancel the holiday.
We had thought there would be no problem getting passports for the girls but sadly after a speed hump in the road of life, their father refused to resign the forms. Frustrating to say the least. Emails back and forth trying to talk it out between us didn’t seem to get us anywhere and after 8 months I knew it was never going to happen.
But I’m not one to give up so easily, so I applied to get passports without both parent’s consent. Seven months (yes, that’s right, 7 months!) and many phone calls to the ombudsman’s office later we had an answer.
The girls had been granted passports. I don’t think I have ever been so elated. Like over the moon, might burst if I don’t tell someone elated. I called my hubby in a jumble of tears and happiness (and a little bit of snot. What? Don’t judge, I was experiencing all my emotions at once, I can’t be expected to control everything).
I’m also not one to let a surprise go unsurprised (it’s a word, maybe not in this context, but Word didn’t correct me so I’m taking it). I had to wait until Saturday morning to be able to go and pick the newly acquired documents up from the post office. The 2 day wait almost killed me. Off Hubby and I traipsed in the morning while the teens slept in in true teenagery style. Passports in hand I knew I couldn’t wait much longer to tell them.
It was almost lunch time by the time we had finished running errands so I decided to do the thing. The thing I had been planning to do at dinner time but couldn’t wait any longer.
The thing I had been waiting to do for 7 months.
I went to the local pizza shop and bought lunch. I also asked for 2 empty boxes. Into each of these I put a passport. Getting home I laid out the pizzas on the coffee table and handed the girls their ‘special pizza’. (If I’d been more patient I would have thought to weight the boxes, they knew something was up the moment they held them.) A few seconds later squeals filled the air as they opened the boxes and saw their passports.
Best parenting moment I had had in ages. AND THERE WAS PIZZA. Winning!
Need an Australian passport? Whether you’ve found yourself in the same position as me or you’re just not sure where to start, the information below will point you in the right direction.
AKA The Brunch Fuelled Vagabond