Partially, it's because I miss everybody so much, and I hate to think it will be so long before I see them again. But also, it's because going home always reminds me that I'm not a little girl anymore.
I don't like seeing my parents through grown-up eyes. I much prefer them omnipotent and invinceable. The real people that I now see them to be, are flawed and fallible. We all are, of course. We all have are foibles and our frailties. It doesn't mean I love them any less. But sometimes, I just wish I could still believe they are perfect.
Anyway, the death of my friend, and some other personal upsets have caused my post visit melancholy to be a little bit deeper than usual.
I am wallowing, truth be told.
Bags are still unpacked and the fridge is ridiculously empty. My poor kids have been surviving on fast food ketchup packets and croutons. The laundry is piled high and the poor tree has wilted into a pile of gaily festooned tinder. The pitter patter of falling needles is constant, and oddly, soothing; like a gentle summer rain.
Sometimes the funk lifts by itself. Usually, if I just let myself indulge in a week of reading in bed and unwashed hair, it breaks up and drifts away. But sometimes it doesn't and I have to make a conscious effort to snap the fuck out of it.
This time, I'm having to take drastic measures.
Thankfully, I have this in my aresnal:
This is my new neice. She is absolutely beautiful, and she has a beautiful name. I wish I could share it with you, but I don't even use my own boys' names here.
She smells good. She is warm and squishy and softly sighing baby sounding. She eats, she sleeps, she turns her head when she hears her mother's voice. She doesn't talk back. She doesn't smear spaghetti in her hair. She doesn't color on the walls. She has cupid's bow lips that beg for a kiss and she tries to nurse when you touch your lips ever so softly to hers. It makes me laugh every time to feel her greedily grasping with her tender little mouth.
Ahhhhh. Babies are good for the soul.
And this...this is a picture of my husband. Who does not, under any circumstances, want another baby. Because we are too old. And babies grow up to be autonomous, verbal and very, very costly.
You see that look on his face? It means, "Just because I am holding this baby does NOT mean that I am willing to impregnate you."
However, there are at least 27 similar pictures taken over the course of our week long visit.
I think there might be a smidge of hope.
Anyway...it makes me happy to think of her and her brothers and sisters. The twins are gamine faced and slightly built, with deep brown eyes and infectious giggles. They are like little fairy people. The boy makes me laugh because he is SO like Dimiunitive One. The girl makes me wistful because my mother says she is me. The firstborn, who is now 8, gave my sister something she thought would always be lost to her; motherhood. His birth is clear in mind and I can still hear his first cry.
I rarely share pictures of my boys or my family here, but today I can't help myself.
Here are my two boys, plus all of my neices and nephews. I hope someday pictures like these will be taken more often than once a year. We are working toward that goal and for the first time, I believe it's going to happen.
They are dishevelled and red-faced because they had been playing in the snow. They are red-eyed because I am a notoriously poor photographer. But still, it makes me happy to look at this picture.
Top row: Diminutive One, Pubescent One holding neice #2, Eldest nephew. Bottom row: girl twin, boy twin.
Voila. Instant Funk Buster.