Motherhood, Childhood and Travel: Bunny’s Birthday

Today, we celebrated Bunny’s birthday.  He was turning 12, and we bought cake (carrot, of course), had candles and balloons, and sang Happy Birthday to a brown stuffed rabbit in the middle of an Eucalyptus forest on a hillside in Chile.  Two weeks ago it was Koala’s birthday, and we celebrated similarly.

My son has always had an extraordinarily creative imagination, but he’s never had imaginary friends.  He’s never had to….until now.

I realised with the kind of guilt that punches you in the gut that these “birthday parties” are the only ones he’ll be invited to this year.  While his friends are blowing out their candles at trampoline parks and kiddie dance parties, he’s travelling the world with his parents.

I know, poor kid, right?  

Well yes, poor kid.  One of the hardest things for him this year has been a lack of friends.  

We’ve made attempts at meeting up with other travelling families, but very few meet ups have worked out.  He bravely introduces himself to anyone under the age of 13 wherever we are – in a park, the beach, a restaurant, or even a bus station.

No matter that they don’t understand each other – either they engage and start playing, or look at him like he’s from another planet and skulk away.  He’s had some wonderful days playing with friends he’s met, but he’s often had to leave them within 72 hours of meeting them — usually less.

There have been times along the way when we’ve questioned what we’re doing is really good for him.  In the long run, yes, we believe he is learning important life lessons, and gaining confidence in himself and in the world.  Plus, he’s getting to do some pretty cool stuff.

But he’s lonely.  And there’s not an easy fix for that.

So today, we sang Happy Birthday to his treasured friend.  Tonight I’ll read him an extra long story, sing another verse of his bedtime songs, and cuddle him a little tighter.  

Because our brave little boy just simply needs a friend.


About the author: Shalena

2 comments to “Motherhood, Childhood and Travel: Bunny’s Birthday”

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  1. Annette - September 7, 2018 at 1:11 am

    Bunny’s birthday party sounds fun, Grandma wishes she could have been there. Austin I bet Bunny & Koala are enjoying travelling everywhere with you.

    Love Grandma

  2. Colleen - December 10, 2018 at 10:24 am

    I just really enjoy reading all your stories, it’s been a few months so it was nice to catch up. Austin is a brave boy and after this he has the rest of his life back in main stream schooling/uni world and he will always be the boy with the best stories as he grows up. He will never be short of friends.

    Now when the bloody hell are you coming home to UK..I am there in JAN for 2 weeks

    Merry. Christmas guys can you believe it , well at least this Christmas you can look back and say what a great year and not be mentally exhausted. Just feel great….

    Love Colleen and Geoff and Barci the dog

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