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This was a week of returns.

On Wednesday, while I was in Indianapolis, Jim and Evie returned from their almost three-week vacation and came over to the house to see Simon, who promptly shunned them. Not as badly as he shunned Molly when she returned after being away for several months, but what Matt describes is an unmistakable shun nonetheless. He saw them, turned his head to the side, and refused to make eye contact for ten minutes or so. Then all was forgiven and the expected happy reunion took place.

The next evening, around dinner time, I returned from my 50-hour trip to Indianapolis. Unfortunately, I arrived just as Simon was having a melt-down at the Whitworths’ during dinner. No one was sure what prompted it, but my arrival in its midst only escalated matters, and he sobbed in my arms for quite some time.

I wasn’t surprised by this at all. When I left, I was keenly aware that Simon was in the middle of a period of extreme attachment to me and was unlikely to take my being away as well as he did a year ago. Short trip though it was, I suspected that regardless of how busy and happy he was in my absence, that my return would spark strong emotions.

Once he calmed down, he let me know in unmistakable terms that he wanted to go home, I think so he would not have to share me with others. I’ve seen him behave similarly with my mom when she watches him at our house. If I enter into a room where the two of them are playing, I am usually greeted with an insistent (and endearingly rude) “Goodbye, Mommy!” If I’m within arm’s reach, he’ll give me a shove, too. (Yes, I know this is rudeness that will need to be corrected soon.)

When we got home, we snuggled on the couch to watch his new favorite movie, the inevitable Cars, on the couch. I could tell he missed me because while he usually insists on sitting next to me on the couch, this time he sat on my lap, leaned back against my chest, and held my hands, which were wrapped around his middle, in his own. Under normal circumstances, he has to be ill to be willing to cuddle like that!

Today, two days later, our houseguests have left and we are returning to our regular schedule. As all three of us are rather boring homebodies at heart, it’s a return I expect to enjoy thoroughly.

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