This week, my oldest daughter is home for her first visit after leaving for college in September. You could say that everyone was very excited and a little emotional at her return.
It took no time at all for everything to fall back in sync – the noise is louder, the milk is running out, and yes, she’s already had to unload the dishwasher and help watch her baby brother.
Eli seems to forget that Hannah moved with us from Texas to Oregon. True, she was only here a few weeks before leaving for college, but Eli keeps saying, “Remember in Texas? Remember in Texas?” and has showed her things like his bedroom and where things are in this house.
Speaking of this house, I feel the worst about Hannah not having a bedroom to come home to. Instead, she has a mattress on the floor of the girls’ room, but I almost think that’s ok, too. The three of them have been spending lots of time chatting in there, and last night they even had 11yo Isaac join them for the night. It felt so good to listen to them up there, talking and laughing into the wee hours, just like they used to.
This first visit has been great, and I suspect it will sting just a little when she has to leave again. We’re all getting used to this “new normal” as a family, but as long as the reunions are this sweet, I think I can handle the time apart in between.