Home is where the short people are

So I sat with some new friends in San Francisco, eating vegetable soup and chatting about that one time the ship Chinua and I were on in India broke down in the middle of the Indian Ocean, when I heard a car's horn outside. I jumped up and fell over, then scrambled to my feet and ran through the kitchen to the back window, banging my head on the glass as I tried to look outside. Oh.

"False alarm," I said, as I headed back to the table. They looked a little alarmed.

A few minutes later, while I was horrifying them with tales of a Hindu practise in India which involves "holy men" hurting their own "parts" by chaining things to them and stuff (it was part of another story- I swear- I know, you don't want to have me over for dinner now, do you?), my phone rang, the happy Latino Chinua ring, and I snatched it up.

"We're here."

I jumped up, repeating the scene from before, with an added race down those stairs that I showed you in the last post. I leapt on top of the van and hugged it senseless. Not really, but I did open the door before Chinua had fully stopped, and jumped on the kids in their car seats. They responded in kind. And they were excited to see me. Kid A was awesome, he didn't do what he normally does when I get back from being away, which is to put his hand over his face and shake his head slowly, with a very sad look, as if to say, "I am stunned by your absence, your lack of loyalty to my person."

Nope, this time we all hugged in a big pile. The Leaf Baby, though, looked at me curiously, as if to say, "Have we met?" and a big chunk of my heart broke off and rolled out into the parking lot. I quickly ran to get it and stick it back on, though, remembering that he doesn't even know how to say his own name, and therefore cannot be held responsible for not having a joyful enough reaction to my homecoming.

I really, really love my family.

Pretty soon I was back in the mix. We stayed the night in a little room in that house, and I spent the night climbing up and down the ladder in the loft that my Superstar Husband and I slept in, for various requests from my restless kids. And a little distance makes me a lot more patient, let me tell you. However, on the way home the following morning the following conversation almost caused me to run over my own foot, I won't lie.

YaYa: "I'm hungry!"

Me: "I know sweetie, one more stop and we're going to go eat at In N Out."

YaYa: "Out?"

Me: "No, In N Out. Burger. Just wait."

YaYa: "OUT?"

Me: "It's called In N Out.  It's a restaurant."

YaYa: "It's not cold in here!" (Thinking that I said, it's cold in and out)

Me: "No, it's CALLED In. And. Out. We're going to eat there."

YaYa: "It's NOT COLD!"

And so on and so forth. These conversations have me wondering whether I'm actually sure that I speak the English language. Maybe this is some sort of Matrix situation or something.