Prior to meeting Liesel, I had not long returned from 4 years of travel overseas. My final trip, home from Ireland, included sailing on a 48’ yacht from Waterford (Ireland) to Ascension Island on route to Capetown in South Africa, a 9hr US military flight from Ascension Island to Antigua, driving across the US from Miami to LA via Denver, flight to Brisbane & hitch home to Dalby.
Everything was pretty loose, not much planning and pretty much take on what ever opportunity came up. Exciting & good times. Within 18 months of returning to Australia, not only had I given away the idea of taking up a job in either of Russia or Singapore, I had met & married Liesel. Liesel & I had met & married in 10 months….. “If you are on death row, you may as well go to the chair” & a pat on the shoulder was the reaction from a good mate, who had also been on the yacht with me. For me this was a monumental step.
Not half as huge though as finding out after 4 weeks of being married that Liesel was pregnant with our first child. I can still remember having that “Oh Crap” feeling & sitting down at the table in our little house thinking “I’m not sure if I am ready for this”, even though I was 30, I still wanted to play for a while yet. Typical boy, a bit slow to grow up, avoid commitment, all that sort of thing. We had no money, I owned a pretty rough little cottage, I had a trade but no real full time work, I was mucking around working for myself a bit. Life as I knew it was about to change for EVER…… how was I going to cope with that, “I’m not ready for this”, kept going through my head.
Well, today we have just had our seventh child & I reckon I have coped just fine. Our first child Robert is now just 17, I am 48 and back at the start with an 8 week old. I must admit that when Liesel told me that she thought that she may be pregnant this last time, I had a brief moment of thinking “Oh crap, I am too old for this”. We have a boy 17, girl 15, girl 13, boy 12, girl 8, girl 2 and a boy 8 weeks. Probably my only regret is that we didn’t fill in the gaps!! We are so blessed to be able to have children, we live in a great country with lots of opportunities & things will work out. I just love to watch how the children, specially the older ones react & deal with the little ones. It is great!!