The landscape out of the train window is unfamiliar, yet so beautiful, confirming that I am, indeed away from home. The green, grassy hills stretch into the distance, stone houses peeping out of the sides, they are dotted with shaggy coated sheep and will eventually deflate into the flat, marshy fens that signal the way home.
I have had a lovely few days with an old and much missed friend and haven’t missed my Mum persona or my boy as much as I feared I might.
It’s as though I’ve had time to breath. Life has slowed, even though I never noticed how frenetic being at home with a toddler had become. I have spent time alone, more time than I’ve had for over a year.
It is in those moments when I have had to force a deep breath and hold myself still, as it has felt odd. Being in someone else’s house means one has nothing to do, except relax. There are no outstanding chores or phone calls to make. They are all hundreds of miles away, tucked away until I return home.
With no TV or radio these moments have felt almost too quiet. They have taken some settling into. Although once I have given into them they have felt like the most indulgent luxury I could imagine.
Not having my small, dependent person there has felt so strange. His physical absence screaming at me by it’s stony silence. An indulgent luxury and yet at the same time the absolute certainty that something is missing.
It has been the same for him. Mckdaddy tells me he’s had a great time, has been good for my Mum and Dad and has enjoyed being with his Daddy, but has done more than his usual two minute hand holding when somewhere new. His lip has wobbled and his eyes have filled with tears, not quite spilling over, because he is fine with his Dad, but something is missing. His world is slightly less secure because I am not there.
We are connected, my boy and I. We have stretched the strings that tie us further than ever before and it has been wonderful for all of us.
However, as the train speeds towards home I am eager to get those strings and use them to wrap us tightly together again.