This is one of the many ecstatic reactions Bella had in response to being back in Gus. During the school year she is only with us every other weekend (because her other home is 200 miles of frozen alpine desert occasionally punctuated by treacherous mountain passes away), so this weekend was her first time back in the new version of our home (Gus). Somehow, and it is really still a mystery to me as to just how, we were able to keep our return secret from Bella for a full two weeks, so that she could be surprised when we brought her back and pulled up to Gus instead of the studio apartment where we have been refugeed since March.
She flung out at a few confused half-phrased questions as we pulled up into the driveway, and she noticed the lights were aglow in the windows of our home. Then, as we parked and opened the van doors, Xi and I told her the good news that we were now living back at Gus. She responded with whoops and hollers and leaps, and ran inside to let Xi show her around the semi-finished set-up.
Bella and Xi did a fairly quick, and fully exuberant, pass through all the rooms — Bella squealing and scrunching up her face with glee in each. And as the tour wound down, one could see Bella slowing her gaze and her respiration, and fixing her attention on the slew of toys she and her sisters have been without for most of the last year. And within another minute…
the girls were settled in and back to the more important task of playing!
Aaahhh… Now that it’s real for all of us, it feels more complete to me — as if we weren’t quite all the way here yet. And now we are. Welcome home, us.
Be well, all of you.