I may be chopping an onion but these are tears of happiness. Everything is back to normal.
A few days working away from home could seem quite attractive sometimes: no meals to cook; no cleaning to do; the ability to focus on the job at hand without feeling torn in several different directions; the possibility of whole conversations without anyone mentioning computer games or Greek myths or superheroes.
And it’s true that the return home can be a bit shaky. Aside from the happiness of seeing the family again, it’s a shock to have to deal with the unpacking, the mountain of laundry I seem to have brought home with me (I’m sure I didn’t wear that many clothes), the meal that everyone is somehow expecting me to produce for dinner, the two school trips requiring packed lunches that we all seem to have forgotten about, and whatever this week’s boyish obsession happens to be.
But it’s the routine and the regularity and the sheer normality of home that makes it such a special place to be. Once the bags are put away and everything’s settled down, there is something very right about standing in the kitchen, in my usual spot, watching the knife in my hand slice through the shiny skin of a red onion. I’m home. This is where I should be.