We left Richmond 10 months ago. Life has been dramatically different since last January. This weekend I got to go back and pretend like everything was the same. It was the first time that I returned and didn't stay in my house. It was the first time that I returned without my family. It was the first time that I wasn't there on official "unload the house" business.
I went to visit my sweet friend Nicole. I haven't seen her since February. And since then it seems that we've also had trouble connecting through email or the phone or whatever. You know, life just gets busy. So we started weeks ago trying to plan a visit.
I landed on her doorstep Saturday afternoon with just one bag and my pillow. No diapers or baby dolls or sippy cups. She answered and the last 9 months just melted away. I immediately felt like I hadn't moved away, like I was just stopping by on a Saturday for a glass of wine and some girl talk.
It was amazing spending the time with her and seeing some other friends along the way. I woke up yesterday missing my family but wishing that I could prolong the visit a bit longer, wishing that I didn't have to jump in the car and return to my new life. That I could instead just bring my family back and stay where I've always felt at home.
After breakfast, I said my good-byes and headed back up 95. The short trip was exactly what I needed to reconnect with some old friends, but it left me feeling a bit sad. It left me missing weekly lunches with Tara, and fire pits on the deck with Brian and Nicole, and Ledo's on the weekend's with Jeff and Amy. It left me wanting 12 minute commutes to work, fenced in back yards for my dogs, my own house with a purple room for Ainsley and monkey's on the wall for Freddie. It wasn't always an easier life, but it was a bit simpler.
As I merged on to the beltway my heart was heavy and I could feel the tears burning my eyes...but as I pulled up to the house there was a beautiful little girl waiting to greet me and jump into my arms. So for now, this is where my family is and this is where I belong. Richmond will have to wait.