… but I don’t want to. I want to sit here, with my dog snoring behind me, and type on the computer.

It’s strange to be home. Home feels unfamiliar, actually. Steve left at 8:15, to take my parents to the airport, as I was walking Bini over to meet up with the walk pool. I offered to walk the kids, but my neighbor told me to go home and “rest.” I’d slept 11 hours, and it was 5:00 p.m., Paris time, but I appreciated the sentiment.

As I walked down the sidewalk back to my house, kicking wet red leaves, I felt a stab of intense sadness.  After being in a big, dense, lively city for a week (and on a big, dense plane for 11 hours), I was suddenly quite alone.

I went to class at Bar Method, just to be around people, and that may have been a mistake. Jet-lagged + tough workout = Dazed. Now I’m surrounded by mounds of laundry and stacks of mail. All of the things I was going to deal with post-Paris are coming due now.

Still, despite my melancholy (an unofficial side effect of jet lag), I’m overwhelmed with gratitude. That neither plane crashed. That we didn’t get killed in a freak Metro accident. That I have friends who took Bini for play dates and to soccer practice and kept things normal for him. That we were able to go and have a wonderful time in a beautiful, vibrant city while people we trusted took care of our little boy. That’s a huge gift. Also, my mom cleaned out my pantry. My dad fixed things around the house. I’m not sure how best to thank them.

Written by Kristin Kalning

Mother, writer, reader, traveler, lover of hard-luck stories.

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