Since the Illinois grandkids left on Thursday I’ve been slowly getting back into my normal routine, but mainly I’ve been catching up on sleep. While the two teenagers weren’t early risers during their visit, the six-year-old came creeping into our room every morning around five.
On the days Studly was working in Orlando I’d just tuck Harper in on her Poppa’s side of the bed, and we’d doze off to the sleep stories featured on my Calm app, but every other morning last week she was ready to eat breakfast way before my eyes were ready to be open. The two of us had some pretty comical conversations about fairies, cities versus states, and family relationships while eating early morning Pop Tarts, so I’m not complaining.
On the Wednesday night before the kids’ 6:25 a.m. flight home we stayed at a hotel that was about a 15 minute drive from the Sanford/Orlando airport. Studly had to work clear across town on Thursday, so it was up to me to get the kids on their way. I set my alarm for three a.m., but Harper’s feet in my face woke me up around two. Gently I moved her back into a position parallel to mine, rather than the perpendicular one she’d assumed.
Then what sounded like four quick gunshots caused grandson Garrett to sit straight up in bed. He never awakened, just quietly laid back down, but I was then on high alert. I tossed and turned until my alarm went off, then stubbed my toe on McKayla’s sofa bed on my way to the bathroom in the dark. I’m really glad the kids all slept through my colorful string of whispered curse words.
The teenagers were surprisingly easy to get going that morning. Oddly enough only Harper, the early riser, resisted. Soon, though, she was up and going full speed. I think the anticipation of seeing her Mommy and Daddy in a few short hours did the trick.
We took the 4:30 a.m. hotel shuttle to the airport and I’d thought that was absurdly early; however, an accident on the Interstate (remember those “gunshots”? Apparently we’d heard a crash) had traffic backed up, and by the time we checked in, went through security, and made it to our gate the flight was boarding.
I hugged my sweet grandkids and watched them board.
They looked so young and yet so capable as they left me.
I rode the shuttle back to the hotel where I’d planned to nap before taking a shower and driving the four and a half hours home to Doright Manor, but I was pretty keyed up after all the morning’s activity, so I packed and got on the road. Emergency crews were still cleaning up the interstate after the crash, so I set my gps to take backroads. About two hours into my trip I found myself unable to keep my eyes open, so I found a shady spot for a nap. After waking myself with a loud snore half an hour later, I continued on home.
Said home was sadly quiet. I busied myself with straightening up some of the mess we’d made over the past week. The Risk game went back into the game closet. The stuffed animals went back into their basket. Two remaining boxes of Pop Tarts went into a grocery bag to be offered to a friend’s children.
Studly arrived home later that evening, and we struggled to stay awake until finally giving up the battle around eight. I slept restlessly that first night without the kids. Part of me wished a sweet six-year-old could still sneak into my room for giggly snuggles before sunrise. Did I mention that it’s too quiet here?