Saturday was Zola’s 9th birthday, and we started the celebrations early with supper at the Bluebird Market in Muizenberg on Friday night. It’s our favourite place for treats as each of us can indulge in different delights – prawn parcels for Mark, pizza for Zola, samosas and fudge for Ruby and gluten-free double chocolate brownies for me. I am coeliac and I swear, after 20 years without tasting proper chocolate cake, when I bit into one of those decadently moist brownies for the first time, I nearly wept with gratitude. In 6 months’ time, I know I will be dreaming about them.
A new friend sat and ate with us and shared with me that 9 years ago on that day, her son had died. She was looking at my beautiful boy, reflecting that her baby would now have been his age, and I hugged him and was so grateful to be given this affirmation. Despite all the costs, that many would consider foolhardy given our rather less-than-financially-secure position, it can’t but be worth it to seize the day, spend this precious time with our children and give them an experience as a family we will never forget.
I pulled a fast one on Zola. He knew there were no big birthday presents or parties on the cards this year, what with visa costs and carnets and all, but he was hovering around the signet ring stall at the market, showing me his favourite in a pointed manner. I pretended to ask the stall holder about T-shirts, slipped him R100 and walked off. Mark distracted Zola and when he next checked, the ring had been bought. ‘Shame’ we all chorused when he looked up, crestfallen, and went to sleep in the truck at the beach. The next morning, the look on his face as he found the ring wrapped up inside his other present, a special travelling pouch, was priceless. The lengths a Mommy will go to for love…
After a fun day in big surf at the Berg, we headed to our dear friends Pierrot and Rebecca’s for supper. A scrumptious meal in wonderful company by a roaring fire rounded off the day and reminded us what we will be missing: the luxuries of space, choice and a supportive network of people. Not to mention chocolates. Pierrot has been a rock during the last few months, working on the truck with as much passion as if it were his own project, and we will miss him terribly. Here’s hoping he can meet us along the way somewhere.
Now we are sitting waiting for the visas in the rain. That torrential winter rain Cape Town is famous for has been hammering down since the weekend. We are very cosy inside the truck and very grateful that Max did such a thorough job on the roof with the silicone sealant after the leaks were exposed in last month’s downpours. Parked outside the eMzantsi office, we are very aware that many other families sleeping nearby in Masiphumelele are not so lucky.