Finally, on day 10 of our trip east, both chillins are on their usual schedule and are napping at the same time. We are slowly gathering the gifts and socks and books and sweatshirts we have strewn about the house over the last 10 days and heaping them into a pile on the floor. I've bought bread, eggs, milk and peanut butter, to replenish some of the staples we devoured while in town. Ben is getting air in one of Kaia Joye's tires and her oil changed to thank her for letting us use her car as our own. There are many little things to say thank you for and many quiet goodbyes. (and really loud ones, if you are Silas giving them).
I can't imagine how Silas will ease back into our life and routine. In fact, i think there will be no easing but more of a thunking. For the last month he's been swept into a frenzy of non-stop celebration -- birthday parties (why so many birthdays in December??) with moon bounces, pinatas, train rides, chuck0-e-cheese's! There have been visits to Santa, first cups of hot chocolate with whipped cream, plane rides, train rides, cousins, aunts & uncles, god-sisters, more cousins, grandparents, gifts and gifts and gifts, train sets, more aunts and uncles, LOTS of sugar, ice cream, cake, candy galore, guns to play with (I have a lot to say about this, and have bit my tongue so far...), movies, on and on. (exhausting, isn't it?) For a while there, each time he climbed into bed he'd ask "what will we do after THIS nap?" And even if I could delay it, I couldn't really temper his excitement because there always was a next thing.
Tomorrow we will be home. The days will be l o n g because of the time change. The sugar will be gone. The cousins and grandparents and aunts and uncles (some of them) will be gone (SOB!). The DC friends will be gone and the constant adoring audience. The anticipation will be met with no firework-events, and we will settle back into home.
I've never had to manage the post-holiday time for a child before. And I've never felt the jolting gear-shift quite so jarringly. I already feel the withdrawal of leaving the busy visiting/playing/running/buzzing. And also the relief of leaving it behind us for a while. Parting really is such sweet sorrow.
The sun is out today. The breeze is quiet and chilly, and the sky is flat-blue, no clouds. Cleansing weather. A New Year lies ahead. I am ready to fly across the country, to detach from all locations and move through an overview for a few hours. I am grateful for a new year, that there is day we stop and look around and within, evaluate whom we are choosing to be and how we are shaping our lives.
I am ready now to unwind, to leave packing and gathering for later and to go stroll under the wintered trees.