My dad fell in love with Mum while eating a pie. Her parents owned a bakery on the coast and when she wasn’t studying at uni, she worked behind the counter. Dad memorised the days she worked just so he could see her. He said she was stubborn, fearless and cute.
Dad wasn’t so interested in studying. He loved surfing and photography. He told me he’d picked up his father’s old camera when he was thirteen years old, and from that moment on knew exactly what he wanted to do with his life. And when he met Mum, he knew exactly who he wanted to spend his life with.
One day, after a surf, he worked up the courage to let Mum ask him out. And that was it. Dad’s first, last and only girlfriend. They married in their backyard, and then went all the way to Kenya for their honeymoon.
My parents have always loved to travel, even when they didn’t have much money. And they did a lot of travel before us kids were born. They went back to Africa five times before we turned up.
I was first. My name’s Noah. When Mum realised I was ready to come out, she rode with Dad to the hospital on their beloved silver Vespa. The hospital staff couldn’t believe it.
Rueben was annoying from before he was even born. You know what little brothers are like. Mum had to be cut open so the doctors could drag him out, kicking and screaming. Some things never change.
And then Oli was born, lucky last. He was really cute as a baby, smiling and giggling and making us all laugh. That hasn’t changed either.
The story I’m about to tell you is the story of us. My dad, Cameron, my mum, Sam, and their three boys — Noah (me), Rueben and Oli. We’re the Blooms. We live by the beach on the Northern Beaches of Sydney, in Australia. We all love the ocean and spend as much time there as we can, swimming and surfing.
I guess we all kinda knew our life was perfect and that we wouldn’t change a thing.
But sometimes you don’t get that choice, do you? Sometimes stuff happens that you would do anything to try to avoid. But you can’t. And that’s what happened to us.
Oh, and I should definitely mention that this story is also about a scared little magpie chick who fell out of her nest on a stormy night.