May 04, 2007

Homeward bound

Silently for me

It didn't take long to move Boy in Black home from college. His stuff fit easily into the back of my car: one laundry basket of clothes, one crate of books, one box of stuff from his desk, and one plastic bag filled with bedding. He certainly embraces the simple lifestyle. He was unpacked in less than ten minutes, and by the time the younger boys had come home from school, he was announcing to everyone, "I live here again."

Meanwhile, on the other side of the ocean, my daughter was packing her clothes tight so that she would have room in the suitcase to bring home presents. "I bought stuff for the three boys, of course," she said on the phone. "But what about the extras? Once you buy for one extra, then suddenly, you have to buy for all of them, and that can get ridiculous."

Today, she begins her journey home.

She'll leave the flat where she has been living since January, taking one last look at the sunny room with the blue carpet and broken couch where she wrote papers and drank tea. She'll walk across the courtyard, nodding at the Arab women in their dark veils and the little kids with their friendly eyes. She'll drag her luggage up the busy street, with little grocery stores that have crates of fruit and buckets of flowers set out on the pavement. Perhaps she'll stop to buy one last sleeve of digestive biscuits.

She'll cut down a side street of tall red buildings, and for the last time, swipe her Oyster card through the turnstile at the Underground. I think Film Guy has offered to help to go with her on this first part of her trip, to help manage her luggage on the long escalator that will bring her deep underground. The first train ride is a short one: she'll get off at the Station Named After the Famous Bear to switch to another train, one that will bring her to the airport.

She'll have a long flight over the ocean, and then of course, once she arrives in Big City Like No Other, she'll have to go through customs, picking her luggage up in the big room with the dogs that sniff everything. She'll have another long wait before boarding one more airplane. And this is the flight that will bring her, fifteen hours after she left her flat, home to Snowstorm City. We'll be waiting for her in the airport – my husband, her three brothers, and a gang of extras – eager to hug her, to talk to her, to hear all her stories. I hope she gets some sleep on the plane because I suspect her brothers plan to keep her up all night.

15 comments:

Mona Buonanotte said...

Hooray to having the kids all in one big noise bunch again!

That photo is mesmerizing...how did you take it?

Nadine said...

Welcome Home!

jo(e) said...

Mona: I took the photo when I was over visiting my daughter. We were travelling from one country to another, and she was taking a nap on the train, so I snapped a picture of her reflection in the window.

I deliberately don't show the faces of my kids on my blog to protect their anonymity, but even in this blurry shot, I think you can see how beautiful she is.

Yankee T said...

She is BEAUTIFUL! And I know how happy everyone will be to have her home! I cannot wait to see Older Daughter again, too...One more week.

Amelie said...

funny -- when I saw the picture I thought it must be your daughter, but then you wrote about Boy in Black so I assumed I was wrong...
I, too, am a sister of 3 great boys, and you writing often reminds me of similar situations we have in our family. So thank you.

joanna said...

And the year comes to an end. Time hurtles past us, doesn't it?

Storm at sea said...

Maybe it's just that seeing people reuniting at airports always makes me teary...but reading your straightforward prose describing the logistics of your daughter's trip home, all the while knowing the excitement and the emotion you're harboring behind those words, brought a tear to my eye.

kathy a said...

what a sweet reunion! and i agree with storm at sea, it is especially wonderful that you can envision the challenges of each leg of her journey. and that your daughter will have a whole crowd of family and extras there to greet her on arrival.

Kyla said...

Summer already. It seems like you were just sending her off a couple weeks ago.

listmaker said...

How wonderful to have them all home again! It seems like just yesterday we were waiting for CD to arrive home from London. This semester has flown by. Now I'm wondering how I'll be able to cram all her stuff in the car when I pick her up from school next weekend. I wish she'd embrace BoyInBlack's minimalist life style. (Great picture, by the way.)

angelfeet said...

It made me tear up as well. Give her an extra hug from all your blogging friends when she gets home.

chichimama said...

Enjoy the homecoming!

landismom said...

How wonderful for you, to have all the kids home again.

BeachMama said...

It's hard to believe it is time for her to return already. I can picture her going through all the legs of her journey, through your words.

Another gorgeous photo. And yes, you can see all of your kids beauty in the photographs you take. We don't need to see their faces to see the beauty shine.

And hooray for a house full of kids again. Enjoy!

Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

This one made me cry too! I suspect you're very happy to have them all back.

Welcome home!