It feels so good to be home. Yes, I know....it was the thing from which we were escaping this past weekend, but when we are away I miss it. I miss the pleas for watching Curious George and the early morning routine of feeding the kids breakfast. I miss the sound of Grace giggling because Trevor has informed her that she needs her spanking for the day. I miss the noise and mayhem that go along with a house that shelters 2 young children and 2 sometimes adults. I've realized over the last several years that getting away from it all serves two purposes. The first is the reason we get away to begin with....from time to time we need to regroup. Maybe the patience is wearing too thin with the kids, or the marriage needs some alone time. There are a myriad of reasons for getting out of town, and a few days usually does the trick for me. The second purpose is to remind us of what we left behind and how much we would miss it if it was gone when we got home.
The weeks leading up to a trip are filled with anticipation and the thrill of the coming days with no responsibility and no one to care for except myself. I almost enjoy the thrill of waiting for the trip more than the trip itself! But once I am there, I miss the kids....not enough to go home, mind you, but I do miss them. One of the very things that I was running from is the reason I can't wait to get back home. I enjoy my time away and I do all of the things I can't do when I have to worry about babysitters and bedtimes. But when you have children, coming home is one of the sweetest experiences in the world.
We walked in the front door and when Grace heard us come in she came bolting around the corner and streaked into my arms screaming "Mommy!". The moment those little arms encircled my neck and I felt her warm breath on my skin, I knew I was really home. Later that evening, I saw Nathan for the first time at church and although his reaction was not quite as dramatic (his friends were standing right there, after all), he did run to me to give me a hug and fiercely whisper in my ear, "I'm so glad you're home mommy. I really missed you!"
Those are the moments that I hold in my heart year after year. The big ones are important too...first steps, first birthday party, first day of school....but the most precious are the day to day expressions of love that are often unexpected but always treasured. It's so good to be home.