It's the day after the day they left.
You know the day, you've had house guests for a few weeks and you've had to curb the naked wandering through the house trying to find the clean clothes basket, your cupboards are almost but not quite the way you like them and your house hummed with a different energy.
Now that it's 'that' day, the fridge is strangely empty and your children are insisting you be the 'clothes robot' when you dress them which seems to double the time it takes to get dressed but it's kinda fun and anyway, you have no doubt that you'll be playing all sorts of other cool 'Grandad' games over the coming weeks. Conversations are starting with 'Granny said', 'Granny drew' or 'Grandad always' and you know that the little people are finding the day after they day they left a little strange too.
I'm not one of these people that minds guests. Especially ones I like. I always love having people stay and it's a genuine invite when I say 'any time'. I mean it. Every time. These guests were extra special because with my in-laws living back in England, I am always grateful they find the time to come and hang out with the girls and Nick, just because they want to do so.
The day after is not because our visitors were difficult. They played endless games with the girls. Read books. Drew pictures. Did puzzles. Did more puzzles. Cooked meals. Washed clothes. Drove us places. Minded the girls so we had a date night. They were, as always, lovely. I have the kind of in-laws you know other people wish for and so sometimes I have to make up horrible things about them so they seem more believable. So this is not about them. Or any of the guests that come and stay, be it for a night, a few nights or longer.
It's just that, somewhere along the line, our little quartet has come to mean perfection for me. I find the rhythms of our lives together peaceful. I love the in-jokes and the silliness. I love squashing the four of us on to the couch and having snuggles. I love family interpretative dance time. I love playing the 'your turn' game at breakfast around the table. Strangely, I even love having the girls burst into the toilet to tell me the thoughts in their heads RIGHT NOW. I even love being able to have discussions (read arguments) and resolve them without having to do it in hushed whispers. Life is always better when you can slam a door and yell a little.
And while I will always love the energy of guests, the stories, the memories you create by stuffing a house full of people you love - and such gatherings will ALWAYS be part of our lives - I love that what I have is enough. There are no gaps.
Nick. Tully. Cassidy. Me.
Happiness. Even on a Monday.