The rest goes as normally as one would expect. The airport custodian service is called to bring up mops for the amount of tears bursting forth from the two gathered families as we say our farewells. We go all the way through security, everyone beeps today, of course, shoes off, re-security check, and as we turn around to pick up bags and things, we see that the parents, grandparents, etc. are all still back there waving. They are not making it any easier to leave.
Once we get some drugs and food into the ill ones, everyone feels better and we make the airport change with a minimum of fuss. The flight offers a great selection of films and we make it to Chicago and into the waiting arms of Grandpa, with little further ado. It is so good to be home!
Our house is happy to see us, our neighbors come over to say hello at 11:30 pm when we arrive, and we all sleep soundly in our own beds. A fantastic friend had the kindness to stock our fridge and cupboards with enough for two meals, one already prepared, forgetting neither rice milk nor wine. Our mail has all been stacked neatly in three baskets by our wonderful neighbors, ready for rip, read and toss (or pay) for the most part. I had the foresight to place an order of a couple of books for the kids and a pair of binoculars for Arthur's birthday, so there is at least one fun thing to open among the many work items. There is some money too, which is always a nice thing to find in the mail, issues of a few favorite magazines and yarn catalogs (mmmmm).
My yard has been kept mowed, but the weeds are taunting me and will meet their fate in the coming days, as Lily and I attack and conquer our vegetable and rose gardens, making room for fresh growth and flowers.
There is still some blueness pervading the atmosphere as some of us are homesick, some wishing they were back in France, and some dwelling on how very far away it is. On the whole, this is balanced by the unmitigated joy of the others who are glad, glad, glad to be back in their beloved house with their greatly missed cockatiel or friends or routine of "normal" life again. Children are funny creatures, I am happy I get to share this life with them. Anywhere on earth becomes home when your family is there together, how lucky we are to have each other, and two homes.