I’m alone in an empty house for the first time in over two weeks and the silence is like platinum. The happy chaos of the multigenerational household we’ve been inhabiting since landing here has stilled for the moment. I’ve had no writing time whatsoever – just barely enough to write a few crucial e-mails, occasionally comment on a blog post – and now I’m feeling too sleepy to write anything. But I simply HAVE to write this paper for my conference in November… so that’s what I’m supposed to be doing today, why my jet-lagged husband took the kids off to the wonderland that is the local children’s museum, while Grandpa (henceforth known as Phil) is at work and Grammy (henceforth known as Millie) is off running one of her thousand errands.
The transition has gone more smoothly than I could have hoped, overall. I was so proud of myself for getting myself and the kids through a 21-hour trip that included an 11-hour flight, plus going through immigration and customs WITHOUT our stroller, without losing my cool more than twice, without any major drama or mishaps. The layover in Istanbul was possibly the most stressful part because of all the additional layers of security for US-bound flights, in a very short time frame. When I finally figured out our gate number, the flight was being listed as “last call” – I ran through the airport pushing the double stroller with a huge backpack on my back desperately trying to find the gate – so confused – but we made it, with time to spare.
Gimli landed, then, 2 days ago – 2 weeks after we arrived – hacking up a lung and bleary eyed with reports still to be written. So we’re alternating work days. I’m eating dark chocolate and guzzling coffee.
We’re all four sleeping on a king-sized mattress in Phil and Millie’s family room. Or, rather, “sleeping.”
So many things to do – visa applications for Colombia, absentee ballots since we’ll just miss the November elections, medical checkups; thankfully I was able to replace my lost driver’s license relatively easily. Catching up with friends. Oh, and we started Illyria on speech therapy. More on that soon, possibly. My sister is coming to visit for a week (how do you host someone when you yourself are a guest?).
Overall, it’s been good to be back “home.” Getting behind the wheel of a car for the first time in two years felt wonderful. Familiar. Easy. Well-worn tracks in my memory. Familiar faces of people who know us and care about us. Illyria’s been having a wonderful time with her grandparents, and Oz takes everything in stride. He’s been a little clingy, and wanting to nurse a lot, but other than that has been lovely.
Well. I suppose I should do some actual work this morning. Tick tock, tick tock…