Four hours of plane travel and three hours of solo driving was almost enough time for me to index all the thoughts and experiences I had at Penguicon. Throughout the convention my brain kept grabbing things and storing them for examination later. In my regular life this system works very well. But one of the few things the convention lacked was contemplative time. As a result my thought storage buffer was packed too tightly for me to see anything. I had to sit staring at nothing, listening to nothing, waiting for things to drift across the middle, then I’d scribble them down in my notebook. I call it stalking my brain. It is interesting for me to flip through the book and see how the early pages are all fragments, but the last pages are coherent thoughts with the beginnings of analysis. It is all indexed and noted. Over the next week I’ll be either putting things into use or long term storage.
The kids pile-hugged me as soon as they realized I had arrived. I can’t think of a happier place than the middle of that hug, no matter where that hug may takes place. The only thing it lacked was a Howard. He stayed home to sleep off the convention so he can get back to work tomorrow. I’ll be sleeping off convention slowly over the course of the week, while also trying to wrap my head around May’s list of things.
After the first hug, the kids went back to their movie while I visited with my sister-in-law. Occasionally they would come for more hugs. I watched them. They were glad to see me, glad to be going home, but there were no signs of stress. My trip away was actually beneficial rather than the reverse. The bonds between them are stronger and they have a little more confidence in their eyes. This was really good to see, because I received a couple of mid-convention phone calls from tired kids which had me concerned. They definitely had some child sized crises while I was gone, but they banded together and managed them without Howard or me there.
The trip home was uneventful. Howard had dinner waiting for us, which was another reason we left him home. Now I have a front room full of luggage to sort and put away. In a short while I will need to gather the children and attempt to restore a normal bedtime so that we can get back into the swing of school tomorrow.