We cruised into our driveway on Sunday morning - clutching imperative coffees.
Three weeks of uninterrupteed sleep, *actual* conversations, no dirty nappies, no mundane chores. Did I even really have children? It didn't seem so. Our last few days on holiday resorted to me going up to strange women in the street, cooing over their kids. "I have some at home, you know!"
They had been waiting for us all morning - balloons and a big "Welcome Home!" banner. Rocco came running right up to the car - Dave and I spoke at the exact same time:
Dave - "Look how big he is!"
Me - "Look how tiny he is! Oh my God he's so little - I left him!? How could I leave him for so long?"
And so it began ... the returning, the homecoming, the gifts from strange lands. Max confided to me that he started crying on the second day we were away. "I just missed you so much mum. I kept asking Rocco did he miss you too, but he wouldn't answer."
He looked at some photos of New York, and noticed the golden arches. "MUM! IS THERE A MCDONALDS IN AMERICA??"
I believe I am more culture-shocked being home then I ever was while I was away. The streets are a little - boring. And quiet. No yellow cabs, no crazy markets to haggle in. Not even ONE rice paddy, or street spruiker.
It's fucking FREEZING.
I must have stared into the pantry for a full ten minutes this morning, before I forgot what I was looking for. (What does an 8-year old boy eat for his school lunch? I have absolutely no idea.)
Before it all fades, I may have to write here every day for a while. The Real Bloggers of BlogHer. What happened in Ubud. Dave and the Bag up the Rockefeller. The Toilet Story. The Day my Online Friends walked out of the computer and became my IRL friends. How, if you get a heavy period in Bali ... you go to buy tampons but after looking at the dead flies in the toothbrush packaging you buy pads instead ... and walk around feeling like you're 14 years old again.
(I probably won't write a post about that last one, because that would just be crass.)
On the day we flew back into Australia, Bono kindly softened the blow of the holiday being over ..... announcing tour dates in Sydney this December. I'm meeting him this time, oh yes.
Rocco is a tornado. FULL ON. And I have absolved all parental rights for a while, because of the huge guilt at leaving him. Every night while we were away, he crept upstairs to Max's bed and snuggled in with him. Now he runs in to us, standing one inch away from my face at 5am - "TV MUMMY?"
Some re-adjusting is in order.
It's back to mounds of washing and cleaning up toys and shitty nappies and juggling work and meals and kids and overdue school projects. I lit some incense this morning, to remind myself of the seething mass of humanity that is Ubud. And I placed my $12 Statue of Liberty on the kitchen table - it's not even broken yet!
One thing I didn't have time for in New York was the Guggenheim:
So I brought it home and Max built it for me instead. He made me promise I will take him there one day ... and I will:
On our first night home, Rocco fell asleep as I was dressing him in his pyjamas. I held him and rocked him for ages, whispering amazing tales and professing overflowing love:
Was I ever really there?
Last night, I was too tired to even heat up the yummy leftovers. So I ordered pizza. And watched the best Broadway Show of all .... "The Max and Rocco Comedy Revue, " starring Max, Rocco, and their respective boogers, farts, burps, and shaggy hair: