I have been gone for 4 days and 4 nights. Hardly life-altering for most, it was a major milestone for a hermit who hates to leave the quiet of the back roads.
I would do it alone. Curt took off work and stayed with all three kiddos while I flew to South Carolina for a women’s writing conference with 452 other word-slingers looking for inspiration, practicals, and room service.
And we’ll talk about it- you bet. I’m still sorting through the floodwaters of inspiration and information.
For today, let’s pick it up as my plane is landing again in Grand Rapids. Let’s watch as the south gives way to a Michigan fall… the land below a perfect puzzle of reds and yellows and browns. Let’s not be surprised when Kate gets a little mean with a cab valet who requires me to sign in for a ride like I’m waiting in line at Chili’s. Let’s imagine me driving home alone a little under the speed limit, savoring the last moments of quiet.
As I hit my dirt road, my speed increases. I can’t wait to be home. I imagine the kids lined up in the front window or maybe sitting on the front porch, waiting for Mamma. I pull in slowly and pop the trunk.
As if on cue, the kids scream from the back pasture and I hear running through dry leaves as I pull my bag from the trunk. Rylie arrives first… she is the fastest and the one I expect to be the most emotional. We’ve never been apart this long.
She’s so big, I think as she makes it to the driveway. She is so big. She’s suddenly shy and will not look at me. She wanders over to the car and leans against the door. Her hands are in her pockets and I know she is fighting to hold herself back.
I wait while she finds her voice.
It’s a familiar dance for us.
Mom? she asks.
I finally see her eyes. Those big, brown, Disney eyes.
Mom, what’s for dinner?
And I am home.