The week after vacation – ok, in our case, a very brief weekend respite from the city – is always the worst. I often feel sluggish, burdened by the longing of being there not here, and when I look at the unpacked suitcase and the unbelievable amount of laundry generated from just three days away, I want to jump into the car and drive right back to where we were.
Where this little girl experienced the vastness of a Great Lake for the first time under azure skies
Where a free chocolate spoon from the cafe staff a day kept the crankiness at bay
Where a sweet girl brought great joy to her daddy just by offering a little help
Except I also know that I will eventually have to come back (because home is where my pets are) and face the post-vacation blues all over again. No, thank you. Instead, I will just celebrate the myriad reasons why I am happy to be home. Even when I’m not. Call it my attempt at intentional happiness, the !!! of my life, where if it’s not right in front of me, I am going to go in search of it. And this is what I found.
I realize that no matter how wonderful the vacation, or how long or short I’ve been gone, the first sight of my favorite skyline looming on the horizon doesn’t just tell me I’m close to home; it takes my breath away each. and. every. time. 10 years of this has not diminished its effect on me. I am still in awe when I lay eyes on my city. My castle in the sky. My home.
Here, at our favorite spot, when I kick back on the back porch, I have a little person kicking it right alongside me. And there we sit to watch the planes go by, sing our songs and talk about our day. Well, I don’t usually understand her but I nod and smile anyway, so even if she says, “that dog bit my foot and ran off with my pinky,” she will only get an appreciative chuckle from clueless me. (Oops!)
At home, no matter what the temperature gauge says, when we take a walk under the canopy of trees on our street, it is always pleasant. And with a girl who’s eager to take over dog-walking duties these days, our evening walks have become the highlight of my day.
And this week, on one of these walks, I am surprised by Little Miss’ hair. Three haircuts in 20 months and she has finally outgrown the Beatles stage. Just the other day, when she was in t-shirt and shorts, someone called her my adorable “son.” I don’t think this woman will make that same mistake again.
And yes, that’s a barrette on Little Miss I Don’t Want Anything On My Hair!!! I feel like I hit the jackpot with this one. All in the form of the hairamathingy that successfully stayed on her head for longer than 15 minutes. Ahh…My girl looking like a girl. And my happiness looking a lot like her as well.