As I am loathe to leave a project unfinished, I plan to laboriously continue to work on this blog– I have quite a bit of material that was started & never finished whilst we were abroad, and I feel compelled to finish displaying it like hanging out laundry that should’ve been washed weeks ago. I am not quite sure how to handle the chronological failure that will occur once I start posting forward & backwards in time– I will try to mark the retroactive posts somehow, maybe with a category tag– but perhaps it will just add to the mystery of the trip. Regardless of the foolishness of it, I will bloodily push ahead.
Having said all that, the following post is based on events of today– a Thursday 12 days after our return. Or 13 days after the Royal Wedding, if that’s how you mark time. It’s a bit self concerned, so if you are hoping for the “antics of those crazy kids,” or pictures of same, you will have to patiently wait, dear reader, for a post in the not-TOO-distant future.
I feel the absence of the kids more than I thought I would. When people asked me, before we left England, if I was going to be sad to go from spending so much time with the kids to spending so much less, I had told them “no.” That with the care and activity I knew they were going back to here in the States, with the peer socialization (especially for Finley) that I was NOT able to provide whilst we were in England, I had felt very good about going back to work & having them do the same. All of this is exactly as true as I had anticipated. What I had NOT anticipated, though, was that somehow when I was visualizing coming back, imagining going back to doing what I had been doing before– creating “future memories” in my mind– I was subtly adding the kids in to the fringe of these anticipated work days. That a trip to the copy machine in the middle of the morning might allow me to check in on Sawyer, somehow sleeping in a darkened office at Nick On Sunset; that I would be working at my computer while Finley drew at the drafting table in my office; that I could skip lunch & take a break later in the day in order to pick Eli up from school. I believe I thought at the time that I was making up impossible situations among other “more serious” ones in order to entertain myself– that these mixed-up fantasies of combining work and family were little comic departures from the list of purposeful activity I was looking forward to returning to. In retrospect, this imaginary list was mostly made up of these “mixed” moments; the pleasure in these imaginary situations was not based on their impossibility, but on the physical presence (rather than just a mental one) of the kids in my workplace.
While I enjoy my work very much, and do not wish to leave the world of that work behind in order to solely stay at home (though I was able to find some creative outlets & projects whilst I was at home), this return to work ONLY, without the presence of children, has been bittersweet. I am glad that they have returned to their accustomed activities without complaint (at least, so far), but I wish that I could incorporate them into this version of daily life, in a small way, after having them be such a big part of daily life for four months.