Last night we pulled up to our apartment in a yellow taxi at about 8:00. The boys sat on the stoop while we unloaded the car and we took turns hauling bags and boxes up the steps, through the doors, into the lobby, and finally down the narrow hallway into our living room, where we breathed deeply and relaxed for the first time all day.
We had a great Thanksgiving vacation. It could hardly have gone better (if you forget about the wasps in the vacation house — including the one I stepped on — and the hunters that came all three days we were there, preventing the kids from playing outside most of the time). Thanksgiving dinner was delicious, the kids had lots of space to play, and we got to entertain each other with a variety of “talents” in our little homespun variety show. Micah and I fit in a couple of hilly runs that made our calves deliciously sore. We tossed a disc around in the yard (when the hunters were gone), feasted on pies, and played games once all nine kids were asleep.
We made ourselves as comfortable as we could while we were gone, but when we walked in the door to the apartment, I was reminded that coming home is the best part of a vacation. It always is. Surrounded by our familiar sounds, where I can distinguish my children’s voices from all the other noises. Back where I know which drawer the spoons are in, and what the protocol with wet towels is. Back to where I expect little bugs to be crawling around the kitchen at night. Back to the bedroom where there are perpetually clothes that aren’t sure whether they are needed for the season yet or not.
Yes, it is wonderful to be home. Always. After a vacation or after a run, if we just went to the library to get some books, or around the block on Manchild’s balance bike.
And yes, it is small. It is often too hot or too cold. It has its quirks, its insufficiencies, its narrow hallway. But we are safe and comfortable here, free to jump on the couch or run around naked, to leave suitcases in the living room for days at a time if we want (and I forget that it is my job to put them away).
I love getting out, going places, having some time away from our routine and our things and our mess and our noise, but knowing that we get to come home afterward makes it so much easier to live it up while we are gone.