It was the week we discovered Seraphina’s love of slides. On the way down the sky worked up a sampler as we encountered every kind of cloud imaginable. I randomly took pictures of and off bridges. We collectively discovered that while virtually useless in the country, when stuck in the suburbs, sidewalk chalk may well be one of the best things ever invented. I knitted a whole shawl, from start to finish, in less than a week, then cast on a cool weather cardigan for our littlest one. My hands ached with knitting. It’s possible that a simple textured shawl may be just about the most perfect sort of travel knitting. We visited with sisters and aunts and uncles and grandparents. Memories were made.
It was not easy. Three of seven days in and lacking a co-parent, I found myself with three children who wanted to go home and one who wasn’t keen on coming in the first place. I coaxed and spoke of visits with Grandma and a trip to the Renaissance Faire. They rallied. Somewhat. For segments of time. The “better period” lapsed. My mother got sick. A migraine set in. Everywhere was loud; trains and traffic and sirens, and crowded and smelling of exhaust and lawn spray. I’m sure all that was true on our last visit, but is just seemed so much more so this time. Towards the end of the (marathon) week I started having visions of myself walking through my own front door, collapsing on the floor in tears of relief and fervently vowing never to leave the house again. For a twist, I actually found myself sitting on my parent’s living room floor, the morning before returning home, after a grand total of 1 1/2 hours sleep, crying over what I’m not even sure I know. Many people needed different things from me and it was not possible to accommodate them all. There was heartbreak. It all seemed very tragic at the time. And no, this is not how I usually behave. My nerves were just that frayed. Sensory over-load. Too many, too fragile people to hold the space for. As it turns out, we were decidedly not ready for travel just yet.
Coming home we left what felt like August and drove on into November. I didn’t weep or make any dramatic declarations, but after the car was unpacked and the kids sent off to bed, I did sit with a cup of tea and stare at the fire for a good long while.
It’s chilly here now. We missed peak foliage at the pond. I’ve been thinking of making Mairi Rose a winter coat. Quite suddenly it seems to be time to stop thinking and start sewing or come up with a plan B. I’m glad and ready to be back home with my sewing machine.