Day 366.

The title of the blog was never accurate. We stayed in Cleveland closer to 400 days, but it didn’t have the right cadence. So I chose 365daysofkatzs because it had a cute ring to it. But, whatever the number count is or was, we’ve surpassed it. And we’re back home.

It’s interesting to wonder, in my jet lagged state, how to end this blog. I feel like this story needs an ending. And there is one. So here goes:

We left. The end was frazzled and harried and surprisingly emotionless. There were too many details (6 suitcases, 5 boxes, 7 carry ons, 3 children) to allow myself the luxury of feeling sad. It was overcast and chilly in Cleveland (just the way I love my Cleveland) and we got to the airport, were delayed for a couple of hours and then got on a plane or two, watched bad movies (Nicholas Sparks bad) and landed.

And suddenly we were home.

And I sat on my couch.  And that was sort of it. It felt like we were where we were supposed to be.

Slowly people stopped by. My parents (earning the right as the kids’ grandparents of course) were the first here with pizza, bagels, candy, balloons — everything necessary to remind my kids of their grandparently awesomeness. And then friends and friends and friends. Channan couldn’t understand why there was so much hugging going on. People are astonished at how big and talkative Dov is (side note: on the plane, Dov did not stop talking. Literally, EVERY minute that he was awake, he was talking to us. When he finally fell asleep and I was about to breathe a sigh of relief, he started kicking me and kicked me or David the entire way home).

People came to sit with me as I unpack catching me up on a year’s worth of news (read: gossip). Our amazing shevet came, many newly married (some as newly married as 48 hours ago) with flowers and cake and tears. And there is so much to catch up on. We ate all of our meals out at some of our favorite people’s houses just filling in details of a year. And I feel like I am home.

But then, I realize I need a babysitter for tomorrow night and am looking to dial Cleveland. Dov stands by the toilet not sure how to flush, and I need to give him a tutorial on pushing the button down instead of pulling a handle down. My kids do not know what to do with their new-found freedom. Here you walk everywhere all the time. Dov couldn’t believe he could go to the neighbor by himself. He ran back and forth 11 different times just to experience the joy of being free. I could end the story here but I’d be missing this one point:

Every time we talk about our year away (and, clearly, that’s all we’ve been doing), I feel just a bit sad. I’m sad that we’ve left such a wonderful place and every story that we tell reinforces it just that little bit more. I got the final pictures sent out from Channan and Dov’s wonderful summer camp and I realize shoot, that’s it, no more Rachael Rovner pictures for us (though I did ask her to take Yoni’s bar mitzvah pictures here). I’m happy to be home but I’ve got a little bit of the Midwest still hanging on.

People keep wondering what happens now. Do I write another blog? Keep this one going? I’m not sure. I guess, as with so much going on right now, stay tuned.

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