Mom left after a bit over three weeks of togetherness.
She settled into our new life here quite seamlessly. You could always find her on the terrace picking grapes from the vine that twists its way over the railing and popping them straight into her mouth for an afternoon snack.
Every morning she and the Baby would sit together playing cars until he shrieked with giddy laughter. He'd vroom the cars along the arm of the chair and send them flying across the terrace, crashing and clanking on the tiles. Only to do it over and over again, laughter becoming more shrill each time.
She allowed the big kids to take it in turns sleeping with her. She'd do one night with each and then have a 'break night' to recover from the cricks and bruises caused by crazy kid legs and arms and actually get some sleep. Each morning after a kid sleep she'd have a story to tell--the Middlest slept horizontal and knocked over the bedside lamp, Ma Fille flailed her arms and punched her in the eye. All side effects of sleeping with kids. And all worth it to her because it made them happy.
She and I shopped, feng shui-ed, and decorated. The Baby getting a new room with custom-made curtains and the living room taking shape and feeling more homey.
You already know about the priceless gift of our weekend away in Barcelona but we also got a couple of nights out, a day at the beach which I'll tell you about, and an afternoon to shop without having to bribe and kid wrangle.
But so it is. She had to go and now we'll plan for the next visit...what things we can do and see, how much more we can learn about wine and cheese and each other--as grown-ups and the people we really are and not just the well-worn roles of 'mother and daughter'.
And as I said, it could have been boohoo central around here....BUT!
We had the arrival of one of my two Besties and her kids to save us from gloom. Mom's flight into Paris and their flight out of Paris passed each other mid-morning at 30,000 feet.
No sooner had we dropped Grandmother at departures, rushed to Carrefour for more sausages, milk and cheese, over to IKEA (again!) for a mattress and a quick lunch, were we back at the airport, this time a few hundred yards down at arrivals.
The timing could not have been better.