Saturday, August 6, 2011

The Best Thing About It

So, I'm home.

At last, I tore myself away and strong-armed all of us back into the van for the long drive North.

We missed Daddy a whole lot. Were it not for him, we'd probably still be there.

In my usual way, I've been trying to wrap my mind around what it was that made this week so soul-soothing. I've drummed up a whole lot of possibilities, and it's probably a combination of all of them.

The days were hotter than a biscuit. They were bright and not in a hurry.
They were easy and high in sodium.

The evenings were hazy and sure.
I wiped teary mascara onto my shirt sleeves during church most nights then pulled myself together for chocolate ice cream and kettle corn in the cafeteria. They kids played who-knows-where until well after dark.

I logged all of the days and nights one of two ways: Pom-Pom skirt/Striped skirt.

I kid you not, ya'llsies, I had but two skirts. Two.

On day three a lady I've never seen before walked over to me and said, "I was thinking about that skirt you've been wearing..."

On day five a middle-aged man said, "Oh, I remember that skirt."

You know it's bad when the Dads remember the skirt.

Exhibit A: Wednesday

Exhibit B: Friday

(Monday fell through the cracks.)

There was a day that I would have welcomed the opportunity to run off somewhere and buy something new. But when it came down to it, I didn't want to waste my time running around shopping when I could be wasting it in a lawn chair.

I've learned (again) that I have so much more than I need.

This was a week for not worrying about anything and I effectively crossed fashion off my list, too, without even trying.

This I vow: The Pom-Pom skirt will make a reappearance (or three) again next year. It's a tradition.

The kids made new friends, and I did, too.

We found a different kind of freedom and we found that we needed it something fierce.

But what has me feeling brand-new and lucky and maybe a little bit sad is not the days or the nights or the cafeteria food or the mind-walks down memory lane.

It's not even the words of Truth that flew out into the crowd and pierced me, though they might be a close second.

What has me filled all the way up to the top with gratitude is the love.

Doesn't that sound cheesy?

Well, it's true.

It's been a very long time since I walked for five days straight among My People. People who know my roots, even if only by association. People who tell me in the first proper conversation we've had in years that they pray for me "all the time".

My first runner-up Dad, Dan.

These people made sure that I knew there was room for me, even though it had been a very long time and I thought I was mostly gone. They got to know my children. They bunked Ruby down at naptime, and handed me three dollars when I needed it. They brought me diapers. They teased me about my skirts. (Both of them.)

They looked me in the eyes and they may have seen the gangly fifteen year old that I used to be, but they also saw the (slightly less gangly) thirty-five year old that I am now. And they loved us both.

So this is what it feels like to go home for a while.