Home, and how I really knew it

From first leg to my front door, it took me nearly twelve hours to get home yesterday. Solo travel is so much easier than travel with kids, but nonetheless, twelve hours is a long darn time. Both flights were delayed, and other than worrying about the state of the once-frozen tamales in my suitcase, I most wanted to get home before the boys went to bed. No such luck, but that didn't stop me from immediately heading into their rooms to smother them with kisses. Poor T was nearly catatonic with fatigue, so I let him be as he watched SNL on the couch. I set out the arrowhead and petrified wood I'd found and brought the boys, the old hand-forged screw and some beautiful rocks too. I laughed when I saw the green and orange plastic ninjas I'd bought in Santa Fe; were those made specifically for Jack and Ol? I put on a load of wash and then took a good look around the house. It.was.a.warzone. You have NEVER seen so much child detritus on every surface throughout a home. No Legos remained in their colorful bins, snips and slivers of construction paper made a mosaic of the basement floor and toy swords/light sabers/weapons of all sorts hung across every surface on which I might have considered sitting.

The submarine box was full of periscopes and markers, perler beads made walking a painful feat, and mail and empty bags blanketed one kitchen counter. T noticed my dismayed expression, apologized and said, "Something had to give."

I understood. I still do, but jeez. It's not clear that anyone ate any of the vegetables I'd chopped and labeled. What is up with dads and dispensing veggies? At least all the laundry I'd left behind was folded neatly.

I really knew I was home when Ol climbed into bed with us in the middle of the night because of a nightmare and when, a couple hours later, Nutmeg jumped in too. He was all a'purr between him and Ol, I was knee-deep in snuggles, but four in a bed is a lot. Sleeping alone and on your own schedule is bliss.

I was just about to close my eyes, finally, when Oliver rustled slightly and then sounded as if he were going to throw up. "Bug, bug," I called, "roll over!!" (He was on his back.) He only considered moving, so I forced him over and shook him awake.

"Are you OK, honey?"

"I don't feel good. I was having the gwossest dweam. Tyrannosaurus skeletons were hungwy and wanted dead worms, and they were gwoss."

I think recounting his dream served as a remedy for then we laughed and hugged and caught up. Then to Jack's room for more of all that, then the little gifts, breakfast, school and so forth.

New Mexico was so interesting and relaxing, but it's always good to get home too. I feel so lucky for such a cool experience, even if it means I've spent much of today cleaning the man-dirtiness that abounds.