I have never been the last person to leave a party, that I can remember. I like to leave just as things are winding down, usually, and having kids has meant I typically have to be home early to relieve the babysitter, anyway. In general, I don't like the feeling of overstaying my welcome.
But sometimes, you don't have a choice. For example, when your city of residence gets socked with several feet of snow within a ten-day period, and you end up not being able to get home, and a very, very lovely visit with your family in Idaho goes just a little too long. Denver got so much snow that we were able to carve this out of a bank in our front yard:
And that was before we left. Before the second and third snowstorms hit, locking us out of the airport here (or at least we thought. Turns out, our flight back to Denver wasn't actually canceled, but we probably wouldn't have been able to make the drive home from the airport because the streets were so nasty.)
But none of that really matters. We had a great time in Idaho. I love seeing my family, and it's all that much sweeter now because we get to watch the kids interact with their grandparents and aunts and uncles and cousins. For example, it's like my mom was pretty much born to play pretend with grandkids someday. She has saved all of these play cups and saucers and plates and a pint-sized stove from the fifties (which you can actually plug in and make work!!! How has our species survived???). She played "restaurant" for about a million hours with Addie, where Addie was the customer at "Molly's Restaurant" and my mom the waitress. Addie rang up a serious tab that we have yet to reconcile, and probably wore my mom out with incessant pleas of "Play with me! Let's go upstairs and read! Let's play hide and seek! Let's play restaurant!" I was exhausted just watching it, but my mom was an amazing sport.
Then there was the big event itself--Christmas Day. Despite all of my curmudgeonly complaining about swapping of presents and spending of money, it was exciting to watch Addie tear into those presents. Twice. Once in the morning at my mom's, once in the afternoon at my dad's. If there's a perk of coming from a divorced family, this is it. In particular, there was some crazy madness at my dad's when Addie and her three cousins tucked into the million and one presents their Uncle Jade and Aunt Heather and Uncle Joe had bought them. It was, seriously, overwhelming, and wonderful.
But, as my mom and I mutually agreed on the phone today, it's good to be home and back to a routine. There's still a crapload of snow on the ground, so things aren't completely back to normal, but we're home and unpacked. The laundry is done and the new loot put away. We go back to work tomorrow, and the kids go back to daycare. And those suitcases are put away for a while, awaiting our next adventure with kids on a plane.