Three nights away. Three much-anticipated nights away with Daddy, which would be full of the adventure of visiting Mamaw and Papaw, exploring a much-beloved museum, seeing friends.
Just three nights.
But when I met the van after rolled down the drive Monday, seven kids of all ages and sizes poured out, each one saying the same thing in there own way: “It’s good to be home.”
A mere 44 degrees out, and after a short window inside telling me every detail of the Genghis Khan exhibit, it was, “Can’t we go outside? Please?”
So we did. Jack grabbed his bike, Mary Hannah set to cleaning rabbit cages, John Mark and Jude made their way to the chickens. Simon and Phin found the swings, the the cleared field, their sandbox. Birdie had to check in on the garlic, which already has some gorgeous scapes poking above ground. They played keep away with the dog, made a trek to gauge the depth of the creek, gathered new rocks, twigs, and moss for the “mouse house” they have been artfully constructing at the base of a tree, and ran until their cheeks were windblown.
Around the dinner table we laughed about the irony of almost 20 year-old young women who enjoy cleaning chicken coops and rabbit trays (“I just hope the man God has for me is a farmer!”), and kids who play with the nuts and bolts of nature rather than toys. We mused on how, in just seven months, the memories of the beautiful rental that never quite felt like home have worn thin, making our time there seem surreal. We talked about our plans for fall planting (popcorn! pumpkins!) and whether the far end of the creek would be suitable for quick swims in the heat of August.
But mostly, we talked about home. Because that’s where we are.