We were only there for three full days, but we filled those days to the brim. My old family home (a smallish 1970's four bedroom house, I hasten to add, not the Edwardian farmhouse estate that the phrase may conjour up) is so full of memories. I don't visit it very often, so being there is for me like stepping back in time. Standing in from of the big oval mirror in the guest room, which used to be my sister's room, I can almost see my 16 year old self, peeping through bright blue mascara and glittered eyes (actually my favourite silver eyeshadow might even still be in a drawer somewhere!), trying desperately to tease curls into my straight brown hair, and spinning around to make sure that my tiny flared mini skirt showed as much of my rather short legs as humanely possible without revealing my knickers. The framed "Dirty Dancing" picture that is still on the wall enhances the flashback atmosphere.
I could go on and on, but I'll limit myself to summarizing a few high points of our trip:
1. Watching Geekygirl get to know her grandparents and her cousins. She remembers them from past visits and looks forward to seeing them, and I wish that they could spend more time together. It was lovely to see Grandma read children's books I remembered from my own childhood with her. Mum was a teacher so has a vast supply. We read Meg and Mog, The Tiger who Came to Tea, Dogger (at 3.00am, mostly. YOu can't really explain jet lag to a preschooler). These were books I had as akid but have not seen in the US, and I realized that when you have a child in another country you miss out on the pleasure of reliving your own childhood just a little.
10,000 miles and back in 4 days was worth it though, just to see the cousins together. On the way home Geekygirl said to me "Mummy, next time we go to Grandma and Grandad's house, let's stay for a longer time". Here's Geekygirl with my sister's middle child, sharing a princess moment.
2. The main attraction himself of course, my brothers new son. We spent most of all three days with the little lad, and honestly I hardly heard a cry out of him. He was passed from pillar to post, never taking eyes of his very proud mum, of course, and took everything in his wide eyed stride. I may be biased but he was just about the healthiest, happiest baby I've met, not a trace of cradle cap marred his fuzzy head, not a sprinkle of acne on those chubbly cheeks. A picture is worth more than a thousand of my words, so enough already, here he is.
and 5. Seeing my old friends. On the Sunday before I left the house was filled, my old school friend and her son came over, my best friend and her two girls, her sister and her little boy. Along with my sister and brother and their kids we had a very full house. I'm sure to my parents it seems like just yesterday that we were all little kids, so having our childhood friends and their children all in the house must be a bit of a time warp for them. It was strange and yet satisfying to have all these faces together, and to see our little ones get along. Well, Geekygirl did poke my friend's child in the eye, but apart from that, it was an idyllic reunion. Just too short. Its good to know that I still have so many lovely friends despite my long absence. Maybe we will have to go back, someday.