There is nothing better after a long, stressful day working away, to come home to :
- Four dogs who were excited to see me and had clearly missed me, jumping around competing for my attention
- My husband who was glad to see me back from my travels safely and he had not only done some food shopping, but he was all organised to make our tea too!
- A cheeky Joshua who had heard my voice from his bed, had crept downstairs and made a beeline for me in the kitchen, grinning with relief that I was home and hugging me tightly to demonstrate his pleasure. He kept looking at me, smiling, as if he was working out if it was really me – I had only been missing for 28 hours but clearly it had made an impact on him and he was pleased that I was back. I took him back upstairs and read him a story, then snuggled him in for a few minutes, so that he was reassured that I was back. I am usually only away overnight with work, occasionally two nights, so at least it is not like in some families where a parent works away Monday to Friday, or even longer.
- Changing out of my presenting clothes and uncomfortable shoes, into my pyjamas and cosy dressing gown, the final signal that I was home and had no intention of going out again.
Once again, Yorkshire Grandma saved the day and was able to slot into our family life while I was absent : she arrived at 7 am to make packed lunches and to get Joshua up and dressed, once my husband had gone to work. She was back at 3.30 to meet Joshua from school, with first his medication and then his tea and she gave him his bath too ,so he was all ready for bed by the time we got home. We would not be able to do the jobs that we do without Yorkshire Grandma in our lives and it helps that Joshua adores her, he is always pleased to see her as she indulges him with all his favourites, just like a real grandmother would do.
I know that Mum regretted that we lived too far apart to be able to help out more as Joshua was growing up, but she did plenty for us as a family over the years and Joshua’s face always lit up when he saw his Granny, they had a beautiful relationship. I was reflecting on her time in hospital earlier in the year recently, and had an image of Joshua sitting quietly on her hospital bed one time when we all went to visit her. She was thrilled to see him and he somehow knew that he had to sit quietly and not tear up and down the ward, as I had dreaded him wanting to do. She had had to move up for him as he had almost climbed in next to her and I am really glad that they had that short opportunity to be together one last time.
So this morning, I am now off to make the packed lunches and in another hour, I will wake Joshua up and bring him some porridge in bed, before getting him dressed for school, as if I was never away.