Thursday, April 23, 2015
As I type this, I'm sitting in my living room, sipping my coffee, basking in the sun that's streaming through the corner windows, and waiting for my hair to air dry. The paraphernalia of having used the couch as a sleeper sofa has been put away; Jon's study, which Ellie was using as the guest room, is tidy. It's the first morning since last Tuesday that we haven't been with Jon's family and it feels... weighty.
Jon and I started dating six and a half years ago. We both lived in London for three of those years, nearly a year of which was spent cohabitating, and we visited Jon's parents in Suffolk more times than I could count. I know the books on the shelves in Jon's childhood bedroom as well as I know the ones lining the walls at my parents' house: first the Redwall series, then Terry Pratchett's Discworld, then every Sharpe installment ever written, then a selection of Steven King. (Can you blame me for falling in love with him after seeing that adolescent history?) Even now, though I've since moved back to DC and my time in England is limited and precious, a transatlantic flight means a trip to the countryside just as much as it does to London. I feel very much a part of his family, of the place in which he grew up, and of his life in England.
Having his parents and sister here in the States - in New York, certainly, but especially in DC - was incredible. At first, the visit was simply a way to return the favor of how easily and comfortably they'd brought me into their life and family but now, in the quiet of their departure, it feels like more. It feels like validation.
I'm sure they wouldn't see it that way; my mother-in-law would protest that no approval is needed. But sharing our home, our world, and the life we've made here with Jon's family makes what we've built feel more anchored. They've been here, they've been a part of it, and they loved it. If that's not a blessing for our future in Washington, no matter how long that time might last, I don't know what is.