Home is very nice. Ah, that overflowing laundry basket, the unpacking, trying to hide the Christmas shopping, the moments of bickering between my little angels ("keep that up and I swear I will go back to Texas!" I said, because I am such a loving and understanding mother), the cat having an attention-seeking afternoon of knocking things off the bathroom counter: "Electric toothbrushes? And what do I get? Nothing!" (see, now I have to psychoanalyse my cats), getting to read NEW bedtime stories to Max (Sendak's "In the Night Kitchen"), mild jetlag/travel exhaustion. Love it!
Actually, I CAN say I love it because Sean made dinner, and it was amazingly delicious as usual. Left up to me we would have had spagetti and sauce from a can, my usual standby for hectic days. Sean DID get to sleep for half the day, while I took kids to school and ran errands and avoided the studio, but he is still a superhero. While the 4-star meal was happening, I was doing laundry, unpacking, and having a cup of tea with Sharon. Cause it IS Tuesday, after all.
What did we do in Texas? Well, we ate. We ate more meat than we have eaten for the whole year so far, smothered with deliciousness. And we shopped. Our credit cards are cringeing in terror in our wallets. We are wearing NEW clothes, and the Christmas present stash is looking good! First aid kit restocked. We bought many, many books. (books are heavy, by the way. Just so you know when you are dragging a suitcase full.) New towels and sheets. And Sean worked, but not me!
Best thing of all, we had 5 days with no children. Yes, I am a terrible mother, you should know that by now. I did not miss the boys. I did not even think of them till day four of our stay, and that thought was not "oh how I wish my kids were here!" Instead, we thought about each other. Okay, Sean had to think about work a bit too. But it was good for me to have no responsibilities, no stomach to think of but my own, few time limits, and the company of a dashing and attentive husband. We had many long and romantic conversations, while driving back from the mall for instance:
Me, driving, "this way?"
Sean, looking down at map, "right."
"Make up your mind!"
"I meant RIGHT, not right!"
"Oh, good grief!"
"Remember to drive on the right. You're drifting."
"Yikes. Is this a two way..."
"CAR COMING! BEAR RIGHT! JEEEEZAN-AGES!"
"Right! DRIVE on RIGHT! OKAY."
"....I'm still alive. I'm still alive....."
"Okay, there's 121 South."
"NO! STRAIGHT! The lady at the desk said turn AFTER the junction."
"But the SIGN!"
"Nah, nah, turn after. Must be another turnoff."
(10 minutes later) "I am turning around. We are supposed to be driving south, okay?"
( Sean looking down at map) "I don't get it. How could we be lost??"
"We are not lost. I know exactly where we are."
"How did this happen?"
"Okay, here we are again, and there is the sign. 121 South."
"I dunno. Maybe we should..."
"Trust me. This is America. Follow the signs, they will get you there."
"Oh crap, we are so lost."
"We are so not lost. Have faith. Read the signs."
"And it's all because you never listen!"
"Look, see? We are here! What turnoff should I take?"
"Right! Right! RIGHT!!"
"YOU ONLY HAVE TO SAY IT ONCE, YOU KNOW!!"
"No, I have to repeat myself, because you don't LISTEN! If I say "right", you don't... SEE! SEE??"
"You weren't listening! I said turn right, and ..."
"YOU DID NOT! YOU WERE IN THE MIDDLE OF..."
"See? SEE? You never listen!"
"Is this another two-way..."
"You are drifting again. Right lane! RIGHT!"
This was made way more interesting since I have been driving a stick-shift for the past few weeks, and kept attempting to mash the clutch. Which would have caused mayhem on the freeway at rush hour, as the brakes in most automatic cars are cleverly disguised as a clutch pedal. Of course, everything is on the wrong side of me... Rear view mirror, handbrake, indicator/windshield wipers, and mass of car.
Another problem, and the one which probably made Sean most nervous, was that I am directionally challenged. I regularly confuse left and right at the best of times, and I am sure we only got safely to Grapevine Mills and back to Hurst because every single turnoff was to the right. Really. Check the map.
Anyway. We survived, okay?
And I WAS really glad to get back to the kids. I will admit that when we got home, late Monday night, I got into bed with each of my sleeping babies in turn, and just kissed them and sniffed them and hugged them. Only Chas woke up, and he thought it was morning...
I am a fan of great literature, being one of those annoying people who can recite "Jabberwocky" and many other obscure pieces off by heart. As a teenager, I would just sit and learn stuff. Including Shakespeare. I am a storehouse of useless trivia, ask anyone. And I feel that it is time my children were exposed to Shakespeare! So. I got a great CD of "As You Like It" in Texas, and began going over it with them in the car this afternoon. The boys were so enthusiastic, and really seemed to enjoy ACT 1. They asked sensible questions, so I know that they understood. Once we have listened to the whole thing, which may take some days, we will delve into some biography and history of my favorite minstrel. And then, the big boys can read some Shakespeare on their own. We will also choose a passage to learn by heart, just because.
When we got home after school and our fine in-car literature lesson, Sean had his own lesson-plan lined up. "heavy metal studies 101: Metallica chord progressions and their influence on later music". I feel this may have been an excuse for getting out the guitars and being very LOUD, while jamming the stereo at mach 4. But at least Sharon and I could take our cups of tea up to the bedroom, and sip and unpack in relative peace. We left all the boys to their noisy ways.
I love the way my kids meet ye olde literature and modern rock music with the same boundless enthusiasm. Bugs? Fishing? Skateboarding? Visiting Grandma? Reading a book? Learning a poem? Dropping in on a killer wave and tearing it up? Everything is totally cool. They are so open to everything, it just makes me want to give them more. More experiences, more information, more books. They have good retentive memories, and apply their knowledge in their everyday lives.
Such exciting people to be around! I am honoured to be their mother.
Okay, so I missed them.