How quiet everything is.....
We are alone as a family for the first time since November 21. My mother and father left today, went back to their everyday lives, so I guess our holiday season is officially over. For over a week now, the decorations have been packed and put away and the kids have been back to school, but it still felt like we were celebrating something, because we had visitors. Now the guest room is empty and it's time to strip the bedsheets and wash the towels. So it's back to life as usual.
It's nice to have the house to ourselves, of course. It's nice to be able to wander in and out of bathrooms with doors unlocked. Nice not to have to make sure the bathroom is clean. Nice to be able to go places they don't want to go without feeling guilty about leaving them at home. I'll bet they're also glad to be home. No matter how much they love seeing us and their grandchildren, they must have gotten a little tired of living out of a suitcase. It must be nice to go back to life in Manila, with maids and drivers catering to their every need. Nice to go back to the warm weather and not have to put on five layers of clothing.
But it's so quiet! I hate that quiet that settles around the house now that our visitors are gone. It was so nice to have them around, have someone to help with the kids, someone else to ooh and ahh over Natalie's and Philip's and James' latest accomplishment. It was great to have an excuse to go out to restaurants and celebrate. It was great to have my mom as a shopping partner and my dad as a LifeTime TV Movie-watching partner. It was great talking to them -- about religion and politics and kids, about the latest family gossip and future plans.
Now that they're gone, I miss them! And I can't wait for the next time they visit.