When they appeared at the double doors with a trolley stacked with suitcases, and grins loaded with anticipation, there were no words. We formed a huddle and my tears fell on the tops of their heads. “Move along please”, we were blocking the exit. Without realizing I had gone from being a respectable line former, to a fourteen year old queue jumping fan. They were my One Direction. “Mum, you’re crying, why are you crying?” the third little traveller asked, he knew the answer, he just wanted to hear it again.
The words came from them. Non stop. Someone farted on the plane and everyone heard. The plane dropped suddenly in a thunder storm. The toilet flushed without pushing the button. I’m hungry, I didn’t eat. I ate all my vegetables. Do you want me to rap? Say anything and I’ll rap it. Go on.
Have we got a van? Hey guys we’ve got a van! Now you’re in charge Mum. Who said that? Did Dad say that? No, I just knew that when we saw Mum again she’d be in charge. Mrs E is having a baby, Mrs T had her baby, Mrs Y is having another baby. We love Mrs B’s baby, he has shiny brown eyes. Seriously Mum, he’s so cute.
He hit my nose on purpose. Yes you did. You’re a gorilla’s bum. Mum, he said I was a gorilla’s bum. Watch me Mum, watch me. Do you want to play scrabble. Let’s play scrabble. Do you want to play Blokus, lets play Blokus.
Where’s my? Can I? Did you? How come? Who said? Where did? I’m hungry. I’m starving. I’m not starving for a banana. Whose TimTams are these?
I missed you. Can I sit next to you? Come and watch me. Watch me. Did you see me? Look at what I can do. Did you see it? Sit there, and watch me.
Bikes, skateboards, and balls were scattered everywhere. The agapanthus lasted twenty one rounds until they gave up.
I looked around the room, the dishwasher was full, the washing machine ran with a half filled basket waiting like an overdue reminder notice. Sand made its way to the foot of the stairs, and a skipping rope sat in the middle of the dining room table.
A place of quiet healing was now unrecognizable. The pace now so fast the walls gripped together while life burst from doorways and window cracks. Music played, the fridge door opened and closed with offerings. Toys were reunited with old friends. Bounce it, roll it, push it, peddle it, bang it, demand, argue, control and negotiate.
I gave no extra words. I stretched out arms and little bodies came. I brushed hair, stroked cheeks, looked into eyes, and took video of action shots. “You’re amazing”, they nodded in agreement, they were.
And after everyone had fallen asleep in a jet-lagged haze, I sat with my laptop poised to explain how a day that was so desired, could be filled with the deliciously mundane.
And then the noise I’d waited for.
Little feet pattered across the carpet from their room to mine. “Can I get in with you?”