“So what is the plan for this evening?” Howard asked as we drove home from the airport. My answer was simple. Assess the state of the house, assess the state of the kids, clean up the messes both physical and otherwise, put everyone to bed on time. After three days and two nights with no parents in the house, I knew that we would be coming home to some mess. I also knew that the mess would be trivial. Kiki did a wonderful job as adult-in-residence, though it took an hour of talking for her to feel like it wasn’t an utter disaster.
The kids were very glad to have us home. I knew that they would be. The tightness of their hugs was a good first measure for how unsettled they were. Kiki is not the only one who will need to talk this through. Our absence ties into the other changes that are coming. Though I’m really hoping that we can stay focused on summer things for a few more weeks. Stressing about changes ahead of time is not particularly beneficial.
One of the things that surprised me most was the lack of anxiety on my part. I kept expecting it to be there, but it wasn’t. Rather like the way that my left foot stomps for a foot break because the van had one and I drove it for twelve years. My new car does not, so that foot reaches to find air where the habit portion of my brain expects resistance. I’ve always been anxious about leaving the kids. This time I was leaving them with newly-adult Kiki instead of an adult who has parenting experience. Surely I should have been more nervous, but I was less. I knew it would all be okay even though I knew some of it would feel quite hard.
For now we are all home. Nothing is broken. Tonight we rest, tomorrow there is work to do.