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A little story of Edward Minjun Abson

It's hard to think of a bigger plot twist in the book of life than becoming a parent.  Suddenly there's a little person looking at you, needing you, discovering the world you share with them.  They're fascinating, moving, changing, growing, evolving constantly.
Being awake at 3:33 is no longer surprising and it's not because you're engrossed in karaoke with your mates, but because you're navigating your way around a full nappy in a sleepy haze.  And it's all good.  The way Edward manages to find the exact moment between taking off a dirty nappy and reaching for the clean one to decide to do a whizz becomes just another funny moment - sometimes I suspect he plans it that way.  You come to accept that being spewed on and pooed on is just part of the job, as are the smiles, cuddles and comfort songs you get to share.
We've been blessed with a healthy and happy little boy who we've been able to introduce to at least some of both sides of our families.  My Mum and sister Catherine came over from Australia when he was a week old, which gave them an opportunity to meet their Grandson and nephew, as well as see where we live in Switzerland and some of the surrounds of France.  They were also able to impart some of the Parenting 101 tips for handling a newborn.  It seemed as soon as they'd arried, it was time for them to head back home and it was just the three of us again.
We flew over to Korea at the start of May, as I had a work meeting in Jeju Island ahead of our World Conservation Congress in September, so we were able to combine this with a visit home.  Minjun, as he's known in Korea, has loved playing with his grandparents Halmonee and Halapogee and Samchoon (Uncle), meeting the extended family and loves watching baseball on the TV.  In fact, he seems quite enthralled by much of what is around him, as he stares unblinkingly with wide eyes at faces and places.  He was a dream on the flights over, sleeping most of the way and otherwise just smiling and laughing with the air hostesses in between.  We're frequently stopped in the supermarket by Korean ladies exclaiming things like 'he's so handsome' and 'he looks like a doll'.  He's our little boy who is growing up bit by bit, sometimes seemingly very quickly, as the doctor pointed out when he'd grown 5 cm and put on a kilogram in one month!
But I couldn't stay the whole time in Korea, as I needed to come back to work with a couple of international trips in Brussels and Cambridge this month, we decided it was better for Luna and Edward to spend time with the family there instead of being alone here.  So I gave my little boy a cuddle at the bus stop, told him that I loved him very much and handed him back to his Mummy before I went away.  It's tough coming back to an empty home.  Seeing his little clothes which he'll have outgrown by the time he comes back, thinking of Luna and the time we spend together in our little family unit.  A home is made up of memories and people as much as the things that are in between the walls.
Alas, this is the nature of the international life we've created.  There are two sides to the coin, with opportunities to work in fields, be places and do things not possible from home base, but you're restricted to how much you can do with your family.
Edward seems quite unaware of this broader context in which he's growing up, having been to three countries before he was three months old, it will all just become normal for him to move between cultures.  We're looking forward to reading the upcoming pages in the story of Edward Minjun Abson.




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