Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Return to the Mundane

On the first Wednesday in August, my wife and kids returned from their visit to southern California to visit my wife’s parents. They’d been gone for a month. I did visit them for ten days in the middle of their stay, but it was still a long month. During the last ten days, when I had returned and they were still there, I went a little stir crazy. I especially had trouble sleeping. After 14 years, I’m accustomed to having her there. I can't relax when she's gone.

So, on the day when she and the boys came home, I was at the airport a little early. I’d been afraid of being caught in traffic, but there were no issues. Of course, the plane was late. I had coffee and did my best to be patient.

From the airport, we headed home, stopping at a fast food restaurant to get something to eat. Then we went home to what I hoped was a clean house. I’d done my best to keep it as such. Granted, I was only one person. How much damage could I do? The dishes were in the dishwasher. The clothes were washed. Things were put away. Mo immediately noticed that I hadn’t changed the tablecloth since the time she’d left and made a crack about it. Life was suddenly back to normal.

On Thursday, my wife called me at work. “I found your science project.”

“What are you talking about?”

“Did you eat any rice while you were home alone?”

“Nope. Was on the South Beach Diet while I was home. No starches.”

There was a pause on the other end. “I left you some rice in the rice cooker. You haven’t touched that since I left.”

“Didn’t know it was there.”

“Well, that explains why the rice had changed color..”

Ok. Maybe I missed a few things here and there.

With school coming the following Monday, the boys didn’t much time to relax. On Thursday, they went to the open houses. On Friday, they rested, only a little, for the first time in month. Friday night, we watched the season premier of Monk, the favorite TV show of the family and one we always try to watch together. On Saturday, I got up early like I always do, and made my older son waffles. Both had baseball tryouts later that day, as we prepared for another season.

On Sunday, we went to church, something else we hadn’t done as a family since they’d been gone. Mo shopped for school supplies afterwards, and we went along for the ride.

It was definite a mundane weekend.

And it was good to have my family home. Without them, the place had only been a house.

What about you? Have you had long times away from family? How did it affect you? I’d love to hear about it.

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