I'm back home. Family vacations are a lot of fun but also a lot of work and, for me, draining. I am an introvert of the most severe kind. I like people in small groups - preferably groups of one or two. When I was a kid, I spent most evenings in my room with a book or my model horses. My parents worried that I was unhappy until they figured out that they had a daughter who just preferred it that way. It didn't mean I loved them less, or that I was upset. I just needed solitude and lots of it. I had one very close, best friend and I spent time with her and at the horse stables up the street. I didn't run with a group and I wasn't interested in school dances or activities. I was one strange kid. And now, I'm one strange adult.
When I first arrived at the vacation house last Thursday, I was excited to see everybody. But it is chaotic, especially in the evenings. There was a group of kids sprawled on the floor playing a board game, laughing and teasing. There was another group of people playing pool, with the sound of balls hitting each other and laughter spilling into the general noise. The TV was on - loud, because my dad is hard of hearing. And, the adults tried to talk about the old days over all the din which would build and build until it reached the level of crazy making for me. Brett hid outside on the deck the evening he was there. I should have joined him but I had this self-inflicted requirement that I stay inside and be with the family. I'm already the odd child; why give more evidence to support the label.
This morning after breakfast, I loaded up the car and said my goodbyes. Brett was already home and the kids are staying a few more days. It was blissfully quiet in the car as I drove up the street. I drove in silence, no radio, no CD, no noise whatsoever. The quiet felt like pouring lotion on dry, chapped skin. The quiet filled my pores and brought me back to life. And now I am back home where I was greeted with the sound of the wind in the poplars, the warm breath of Jackson as he nuzzled me in welcome, and - best of all - a long, strong hug from Brett.
Its good to be home.