And then there was one. To his credit, after several days ignoring us, demonstrating his new-found independence and indicating that he had no more need for us, our lad did skip back to me as the others piled into the car. “I’ll miss you,” he said, throwing his arms around me. They’ll only be gone a couple of nights, inshallah, but their departure apparently still warranted an, “I love you.”
Our daughter, meanwhile, didn’t think to utter a word, far too excited by the prospect of a full Turkish breakfast at a restaurant beside the sea, followed by a trip to the beach with her cousins. I didn’t even get a wave goodbye from her, only a curt, “You don’t understand,” when I answered her question blurted out in Turkish. Of course, I understood perfectly well, but fourteen year-olds do need to be assured that they always know best.
So that day has come. My mother-in-law has finally set off back to her village. I didn’t get a goodbye from her either, but that was to be expected, for her illness has taken its toll. My family will stay with her there for a few nights, to help her settle back into her home, while I enjoy full freedom of the house at last. I may even sleep in my own bed tonight.
A freedom of sorts, only, for I have training to deliver this morning and a packed schedule. By the time I finish my UK working day, it will be seven in the evening here and approaching sunset. I’m not good with crowds, I realise, but I’m not much better with isolation. I need that happy medium. This probably wasn’t quite the holiday I imagined. But then, when does anything ever go to plan?