Ah, here we are again...my husband and I freshly returned from our trip to our nation's capital. What a wonderful six days we had together, along with fabulous friends, as we took some time away from our normal everyday lives to celebrate the marriage of a friend, and rejuvenate our own spirits too.
Some of those friends we have not seen for many years. Others, we happen to see once or twice a year. As a group of adults who could focus our time and attention fully on one another, it truly felt as though friendships simply picked up where they had left off from the last time we had been in touch. I had the wonderfully satisfying experience of being "one of the boys" again, which is when I am most comfortable and come out of my shell the easiest. We laughed about the silliness and immaturity and adventures of the past, pondered the unknown of the future, and lived it up in the present.
I also clearly noticed just how much energy I focus on others once there were no others to care for or their schedules to manage. I noticed how much slower our pace was because my husband and I had the freedom to move to our own schedules rather than the tummy of a growing ten-year-old. We could slow down and notice the details as we walked through museums, art galleries, and historical places of significance. We could read and learn and just sit and observe. We could freely debate issues and simply talk about what was going on in our lives.
Now that we are home, I can also appreciate the little things that I sometimes took for granted, particularly on trying days. I notice how Astrin crosses her legs as she balances a book on her lap and reads aloud to herself. I notice how industrious and persistent Nicholas and Jaelyn are, as they dig forts and beg for the bikes to make their way out of the garage, despite the fact the mountains of snow that remain on the streets and sidewalks. I notice a softer side of Nicholas that I don't see often. I realize how deeply connected Jaelyn is to her family, and how sad she is when those connections are threatened. I listen happily to their carefree laughter.
The break was good. It reminds me that connections with friends are important, and those friendships can feed the soul. It helped to fill my bucket so I have the strength and energy to re-enter our everyday home life with renewed enthusiasm and vigor. It reminded me to live as much in the moment with these little ones as I did with the friends we caught up with. For as wonderful a time as we had alone, I missed these little ones of ours. I missed Astrin's smiles when she wakes up in the morning, and Nicholas' plotting and scheming, and Jaelyn's carefree nature.
Yes, it's good to be home.