I love visiting my parents, but my goodness, was it nice to come home yesterday. As a bonus, we have been having unseasonably warm temperatures and NO SNOW as yet (this is very odd) so we had a beautiful sunny day to fly, and no travel issues. I think we have used up our good travel karma, though, so I anticipate major issues when we head to CA in a few weeks.
We had a good visit, although it's hard to see my parents getting older. They are not *old*, in my opinion, but they are definitely slowing down a bit. My dad will be going down to 4 days/week at work this year, and my mom is having some major sciatica issues. She has always been one of those moms who never stops moving, and to see her having pain primarily when she gets up in the morning is really hard. They still live in their three-story-with-a-basement house, though, and I saw no reason to be concerned about their ability to get around the house and get things done. And my mother still throws a really excellent party. We had a good time - saw family, friends, and just hung out most of the time.
It was better than the last few years, too, because hardly anyone mentioned children and why we don't have them. I had mentioned to my mother and my childhood best friend (whose mother is my mother's best friend...I know, convoluted and connected) that they could and should tell people that we are not able to have children. And I think they might have, as very few people brought it up (ahem, maternal aunt). But the weird thing is, I hate to bring up our infertility issues even with my mom and CBF. So I have never *asked* them whether they have shared that information with anyone, and if so, with whom. This leaves me wondering a) who knows, b) whether the additional communication (assuming it has happened) has led to a decrease in the number of people nosily asking about our reproductive status, or c) whether people have just given up as we get older and our childless state becomes more a function of our age.
Holding a friend's 4 month old (I love ages 4-9 months), the mom mentioned that I should freak out another friend by not telling her the baby was friend #1's. Friend #2 (the freak-out-ee) mentioned that "everyone" (as in our HS friends, I assume) thought I'd be the first to marry and have kids. And, no. Definitely not. I did not bring up our childless state with anyone, and it was rather pleasant to avoid any indepth or emotional conversations about it. Avoidance? Or moving on? I don't really know.
We had dinner with friends who are expecting their second baby - they had not intended to have more than one, but apparently decided shortly after #1 was born to go for #2. She had gotten pregnant with #1 on the first go-round (this was when I was just figuring out that something. wasn't. right.), and getting #2 going was apparently just as easy. It's interesting - she is very short of patience (IMO) and seems to not really enjoy taking care of small people. It will be interesting to see how that evolves as her kids get older. Anyway - I was surprised they decided to have a 2nd, and a bit sad to see how short she can sometimes be with her 2.5 year old (admittedly, one of THE most challenging ages for most kids).
We also enjoyed seeing our niece & nephew a few times - they are now 9 (!) and 7 (!!) and are morphing into really fun kids. They're still silly, of course, but they are a lot of fun to hang out with. I had a good time asking them about school and friends and football and scouts and everything else. One of my favorites was when our niece said that something was "odd" (funny word choice for a 9 year old) and also when she used the word "peculiar" in a sentence. :)
I now have 1.5 weeks left in winter break, and...let's just say my to-do list was a bit ambitious. I'm revisiting my goals this morning, as I ease back in to work, and I hope to at least get some things started so it is easier to finish them once the semester starts.
It's good to be home - the shower has more elbow room, the mugs for coffee are much bigger, and the house is definitely better-insulated. But it was also a bit sad to leave my parents - even though we'll be back in April (yay, work trips). Time to get back into the swing of things...