I spent quite a long time thinking about this blog title and that still isn't quite what I meant . . . anyway, it's what I feel like having just got back a couple of hours ago from re-installing The Lad into his Bordeaux student life.
We'd all spent Christmas together and a happy two weeks it was - he slipping back into all the old routines of home, and apart from a few minor irritations I'd forgotten about, it was a harmonious, warm and memorable break for all of us.
Term due to start, I took him back in the car, we did a bit of a road trip, next day further explored the environs of the city/region, and happily stayed/cooked/read and chatted in his minuscule flat.
This morning arrived. I wasn't anticipating feeling overly sad as I got into the car after saying goodbye, but I did - nothing as bad as the time I left him in for the first time, three months back (new flat, new life, knowing no-one) - but still a weird ache which hung around for the journey back despite the cheery tones of Lord Peter Whimsey (comfort listening).
Now I'm back at home with all the familiar stuff: dogs, husband (he does come before the dogs really!) piano, chickens, clutter (after the minimal flat), but it's as if I'm mostly here; some parts of me still back in the flat, observing the lad playing the guitar; wondering if we might go for a walk along the river, or perhaps make another cup of tea . . . as ever, I expect the lost pieces will catch up with the rest of me tomorrow as I get back into my usual routines, but today will probably carry on feeling a little disjointed as perhaps it should. Then bit by bit, emails, texts and a bit of FaceTime will become the norm until he next visits, or one of us makes a trip into Aquitaine.
Happy term, son.