I have been following Mark via his Facebook posts, as many of you have, but while he has been sailing and catching fish for dinner, I have been trying to dip my toes back in suburbia without being totally sucked into the whirlpool of play dates, commercialism and Direct TV. In all honesty, I spent the first few days home relishing my large appliances... filtered water from the fridge, my dishwasher, front-loading laundry (including a dryer!), you know, the perks of American laziness. I found myself searching for things to throw in the wash! Oh, how I've missed the conveniences of home. But, honestly, knowing I'll be back on the boat in a month makes me feel like a kid trying to fit every ounce of summer into the week before school starts, or maybe I'm the teacher trying to squeeze in a few more projects before summer even starts. Should I let myself get re-addicted to the perks, when the simple life I came to love is waiting? Okay, true confessions, in the first week, for three nights in a row, I watched my recordings of The Bachelor til 1:00 am, drinking wine and polishing off an entire bag of Doritos. Yep. That's the reality of returning home. The truth hurts. Indulgence has set in.
|Mom, how do crabs breathe in AND out of water?|
In a lot of ways, I am back where I was 6 months ago. I am researching curriculums for homeschooling again, rewriting packing lists, re-ordering swimsuits for the kids - just in a bigger size. There is a lot to do. Not to mention the time I want to spend talking on the phone with friends for hours without worrying about international rates and seeing all those faces I've missed so much. A month seems hardly enough for all of it to get done. But a huge part of me wants to be back on the boat now. I miss the quiet mornings, the slow pace, the precious time with our family. I miss Mark. That is kind of weird for me to say, after years and years of him being gone most of the weekdays for travel. I got really used to being alone and independent then. But now I have experienced togetherness, and I don't want to be separated. Maybe part of the reason I stay up late watching smut TV is that I don't want to go to bed without hearing the snores of my scruffy sailor. Hmmm...
The kids are adjusting in their own ways. When we landed in DC for our final leg of the return trip from Rio, Michael was wide-eyed. "Mom, all of these people are speaking ENGLISH!" I could see him trying to take in every conversation around him, totally overwhelmed with the familiar language. And when we drove home from the airport, it was as if their memories of Denver were flooding back. Like they had forgotten everything! We went to the grocery store, and they asked for all the items they remembered, just wanting to soak it all in. "Look, Mom, Goldfish crackers! We've had those! Oooo, cheese sticks!" It was quite the sensory overload. At home, they walked around rediscovering toys and their rooms! Elizabeth stayed in her room, immersed in dolls, PetShop toys, and her stuffed animals for over 3 hours, just getting re-acquainted. Michael sat on the toilet and shared his awestruck realization, "Mom, I missed this house. I missed this bathroom." Seriously?
Oh well, we are all processing the transitions in our own ways. So glad to have this time back home, but missing our Argentine life and life together with Daddy. And we are certainly excited to leave behind the 25 inches of snow that fell the first few days we arrived! What a shock to the system!!
|One day in the tropical waters of Brazil, the next day...|
|25 inches of snow!!|