I even have acne

Sometimes when I come back to visit with my parents I feel as though I've turned into an adolescent again.  Like maybe I'm babysitting these kids, and I really need to get them to sleep because I have a report due tomorrow that I like, totally procrastinated on. And I'll probably have to pull an all-nighter. Or maybe I'll just read a book and then write it on the bus in the morning. If you're guessing that I spent a little too much of highschool getting my assignments done this way, you're guessing right. Because, like I always say, there's nothing like a little procrastination to add some unneeded stress to your life! I don't know how pulled the grades off that I did.

Maybe it is this awkward-limbed adolescent feeling that has curled into my spine and mellowed me right out.  We get up, we eat, we get dressed. We may have baths, I will wash their soft chubby fingers and rub suds into their hair. And then, I will stare at the work I brought with me and try really hard to remember what to do with it. And, unfailingly, I will be stumped because my brilliant Superstar Husband is far, far away and he's got the gaps in my brain filled. And so we eat my mom's cooking again, we play, we pick up toys, we have story time, and we sleep well.

I miss him like a tree that has lost its leaves. I have gone into hibernation.

But hibernation can be fun! Last night I picked my sister up from the bus station and remembered what it is like to have a sister. I have a sister! A person who looks and sounds like me! Except cuter, and I want to squeeze her. I'll try to get pictures--my husband has the camera. Because he needed it in Turkey or something. Whatever.

My trip was great, by the way. On the first day we drove for seven hours, which is a lot longer than forty-five minutes, but surprisingly it went really, really well. Even the Leaf Baby was pretty mellow. I think it was grace, that amazing strength that bathes you when you need it, when you need rivers and rivers of sunlight to wash over you. I felt it as I drove on beautiful highways. There were flowers everywhere, light everywhere, rivers running alongside the road. I love the first day of this drive because of the small highways. We stopped at Rebeca and Eric's house for a day and it was lovely and restful. Well, as restful as it can be with little kids playing. You know, that kind of highly socialized playing that you and I do when we go out for coffee and I decide I want yours more so I snatch it from you and you fall under the table screaming. I have always felt so inspired by Rebeca and her kids. She has such a way of involving them with all the things she does, the baking, even cleaning. They eat it up. I always come away from visiting with her wanting to be like her.

The second day of driving is not as nice, that boring I-5 cutting across the land like a blade. Now that I live on small highways, I don't wish to return to four-lane freeways. I feel as though the city has finally been sweated out of me. I look around the forest and green hills where I live and finally feel as though this is my home. Toes in the dirt, sweeping pine needles out of my house.