I'm home again, and I'm even sort of awake. While I was gone, the remaining boys went hiking together, mowed grass, cleaned the bathroom, made hollandaise sauce for dinner . . . which is to say, they enjoyed each other's company but also went out of their way to make me happy to come home. Which I was.
Still, it was a good trip. By the end, our country mice were shooting through subway turnstiles and cruising up and down platforms like urban professionals. I was proud . . . even though, for some reason, these kids sing really loudly wherever they go: "Don't Stop Believing" on a crowded bus, "She Don't Know She's Beautiful" on a city stoop, "Happy Birthday" in a packed restaurant during a stranger's birthday, and on and on.
In the midst of all this juvenile hoo-hah, when I had forgotten I was a writer, I received an email from a poet I greatly admire. She had read the manuscript of my next collection, and she understood what it was saying, and she wrote down words about it. And my eyes filled, as I sat there on a rumpled pull-out couch in a hotel next to the airport, with my snoring son's elbow poking into my ribs.