post-visit funk

Steph and Eric left yesterday morning after a wonderful but too-short stay of 4 nights and 3 days at our house. We ate good food, we drank good beer. Stuart and Eric biked to Mt. Horeb, where we visited the Mustard Museum and ate at the Grumpy Troll (Steph and I took the car - 20 miles is too long for the bike trailer). The men took the kids to the children's museum so Steph and I could visit a local yarn shop. We went to the zoo and visited several parks. We stayed up late watching our favorite episodes of Futurama and Arrested Development on DVD. Steph taught the kids some yoga. Here's Daniel doing the Tree pose with her:

(Anya tried it too, but she only managed to stand on her tiptoes.)

It was over all too soon, and now I'm in a little bit of a funk. This always happens after a visit from family members. We don't live close to anybody. My parents are in Kentucky, Stu's parents are in Kansas, our brothers live in the South (Virginia and North Carolina), and most of my extended family lives in Kansas. Every time someone comes to visit, the kids get a little closer to their own extended family. This has been the case for Daniel for some time, but it's really just kicking in for Anya. Less than five months ago, I took Daniel and Anya to Lawrence to see Steph and Eric (and the cats), and in that relatively short amount of time, Anya has transformed into a different person. At that time, she wasn't yet walking (quite), hardly ate solid food, and was so afraid of letting me out of her sight that she would wail and fuss every time I went to the bathroom. She has mellowed considerably since then and seemed to genuinely enjoy spending time with everyone. There was bonding all around.

And then, of course, Steph and Eric had to drive away and Stuart had to go back to work (he took a couple of vacation days for the occasion) and I was left with a messy house and a pile of laundry and a seemingly insurmountably dirty kitchen and no one to talk to over the age of three. We so badly want to live closer to family. So badly. Yes, we know how lucky we are to have financial stability in this economic climate, and yes, Madison is a most excellent place to live (long winters notwithstanding), but we really want Daniel and Anya to have a meaningful relationship with their grandparents and uncles and cousins, and that just seems impossible at this distance. Our parents, all of them, certainly make a lot of effort to visit as often as they can, and we travel when we can as well. But all that driving is exhausting and can't happen as often as we'd like. We've talked about relocating, perhaps to Kentucky, but we can't do that without a job lined up for Stuart. (I'm not in a position to be the family bread-winner, though I can work as a freelance accompanist any place there's a need.)

I'll cheer up soon enough. My parents and brother are coming next week for a visit, and I'm quite excited about it. I expect I'll crash pretty hard after they leave, but I'm trying not to think about that just yet.


Jessi said…
I can't imagine being away from family. (Wow, I'm just the cheery in your cherry soda, huh?) I would really like to relocate to somewhere outside of the Bible belt, like maybe Canada, but I just can't leave all the family. Anyway, glad you had fun and I hope you get back to normal, unfunky life soon.
Becca said…
For a paragraph. I thought you might be quoting me! Mom and Jamie are in KY, Tom's family is in OH, MA, and NYC, and we're all the way out here in AZ. Mom and Jamie have only met CJ twice (one of those times was for Dad's funeral) and some of Tom's family have met him, but not all. We did a massive road trip when CJ was 7 months old--flew in and out of Louisville and drove a circuit through New England--and it was exhausting. Our parents aren't in positions to travel, so it's up to us to come back East.

I understand it, since Mom's family lived in PA, but we managed to drive up 2-3 times a year. The distance seems a little unnatural to Tom. I want CJ to *know* his family because he has some cool relatives; it's a shame he doesn't know them better and that they don't know what an amazing kid he really is.

We're very lucky where we are, but there just isn't anyplace back home where I could find a job doing what I do now. And since we're in one of the most depressed housing markets in the country, we have no choice but to stay and wait--selling isn't an option.

I didn't even have a visit and I share your funk!
Mrs. Allroro said…
Love your heart! I hope you feel better soon. And I hope you have a most awesome time with your family next week. Y'all are a fun bunch.

And to Becca, I can not imagine not getting to show off his overwhelming cuteness more than twice. The only silver lining is that your mom has other grandkids nearby. But still.

You guys made my heart sad.
Animal said…
I know exactly what you mean about post-visit funk. We both know it'll pass…but in the meantime…tough. Glad you had fun, though!!
Steph said…
We had a wonderful time and I'm fighting the funk myself. Miss you all already.
Rachel said…
I soooooooo know what you mean. Every time my folks or brothers leave there's definitely a lot of funk going on. Are you gone next weekend? If not, come eat Sam's pizza on our porch!

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