Everyone knows there are no vacation days for the stay-at-home-mom. But every now and then I take some time off anyway. I don't actually go anywhere. I don't send my family away. I'm not off duty. However, I just put aside anything that can be put aside. I let the house go more than usual. I let the laundry pile up more than usual. I serve simpler meals. I pick up a good book and step into a different life for a little while.
Harry Potter had been calling my name for some time. I don't typically read a book more than once. I had read this series twice already. However, I was seriously feeling a PULL to read those books again. I tried for a while to fight it, and then I decided to read the first book. When I set out, I didn't really intend to completely check out for a week and read the whole series, but I'll have to say, I have never been able to put those books down once I get started.
It was a perfectly delicious week for me. Absolute indulgence. To devour those books, to NOT put the book down when I just couldn't put the book down, to stay up too late, to wake up too early, to live and breathe an incredible story for a week.......even though I didn't physically go anywhere, it was a true escape, a real vacation.
Stepping into Harry Potter's life for a week was a really intense experience. What real human life could compete with Harry's? I am raising four kids and he is saving the world. It's all important stuff, just very different. After my little reading vacation, I experienced a real re-entry (complete with turbulence) back to my life when it was over, just like the few times I have been physically away from my family for a few days. Re-entries are difficult partly because the house is messier than usual and the laundry pile is a bit higher than usual and partly because my mind is still a little bit on vacation, still processing the experience.
Now I am mostly back from my vacation. I have caught up with the laundry and chores. I've called my mother and reconnected with friends. I once again feel fully present when I am spending time with the people I love. Re-entry is now complete.