Tonight Tall Girl and Small Sprog are back. Their noise has filled the house and I have become a Mummy once again. Returning with them, of course, is Husband.
As soon as they are home I feel a huge sense of loneliness, a horrible dark place in my heart that feels as cold as stone. How can I be so lonely when the house is so full? The empty hours and days stretch out ahead of me. I should feel glad to see my children, I am glad, but I feel horribly constrained and all the fun and laughter seems to have seeped away. I hate this feeling, it has haunted me before at other times in my life, it always takes a great effort of will to stop myself from physically running away, and though I recognise it now and know it will pass, it doesn't make it any easier.
After dinner I ask Tall Girl if she wants to go for a walk. She does, and so we walk together and talk. It makes me feel calmer. She is bright as a button and full of news. She is mine again.
When we get home I tuck Small Sprog into bed and he hugs me tightly.
My children are home, but I still feel incomplete.