So I returned home to fevers and weepy eyes, but smiles all around. And the day routine is slowly finding its way back into my blood. That's what a few too many days away, sitting by the poolside and exploring ancient relics will do to you, make the day routine return slow.
Besides all their beautiful blue eyes and silly welcome pictures taped on the door, it's the little things that are bringing a happy, inward sigh and making me feel at home again. I kept the camera close the last day or two, just to help me see and remember them.
1. Sitting across from bright eyes as they peek over the table, munching lunch and peering intently at puzzle pieces.
2. Running painfully, laboriously up a seaside hill, spitting on the fact it's been two weeks since these burning lungs have tasted fast wind. But the tight calves and cleared mind make it worth it, and the smiling wave from my polar swimmer Chinese friend who laughs gleefully at my slog jog, gives these lips a grin in the hair whipping wind.
3. Walks along the city streets in the late afternoon sun, air warming slowly to the tune of coming spring and my little man at my side, chatting cheerfully as though I were his closest friend.
4. The sights of familiarity as roasted sweet potatoes pushed on an old cart come rumbling our way.
5. Korean food. Fresh and light and fully of salty, pickled flavor. A shared lunch in a small, upstairs room, bright with sunshine and the sounds of women cooking.
6. A boy with chopsticks and a silly smile. He seems so old, so grown up and boyish with his cocked hat and serious questions.
6. Baking. With the middle one in tow. Back to flour on the counter, on his shirt, in her hair, on the floor. But back to warm breads and fresh lemon scones, french-pressed goodness and homemade smells in the air.
It's good to be home, in China.