I need to dedicate just a little bit of space here to my husband and tell you about his homecoming yesterday, but I promise I'll be brief. Just until my water heats up for my tea...
Or maybe until I finish my tea...we'll see what kind of roll I get on.
If you've followed us for very long, you know that my husband and I have a very close relationship and that I think he is the most wonderful daddy and provider and life partner that I could ever ask for. So it's tough for us to spend a ton of time apart, even though early in our relationship, as two young college coaches, we often acted as strangers in the night...especially through November through April. In fact, that's one of the reasons we decided to change professions after Elizabeth came along - it would just be tough to not only take a baby on the road with one of us but also leave the other at home.
So anyway, we knew that these past few weeks would be challenging, with me taking the girls up to Mom and Dad's and then Scott having to leave for four days of training in Wisconsin. As the girls have gotten older, they cling to him more and more...lately, especially Rachel. Last weekend, after getting back from WV, if Scott was in the room, she wanted him and no one but him.
Of course, I was the last person complaining on that one!
So all week, they asked about daddy. Where was daddy? When was he coming home? Was he on the airplane? How bout now? Is he coming home now?
And I was a single mom. Now, let me tell you...my hats go off to all single parents because I am flat worn out from this week. And I include in this all who have loved ones in the military or have to travel to work all week...being on your own is flat tough, mentally and physically. So I was ready to see my husband as well.
Our phone calls went like most go on the run, with him being tired and in between meetings and me yelling at someone to stop hitting / kicking / biting or to pick up the books. I did gather from him that he landed at 7 p.m. and that we should just plan on being there around 7:30 p.m. to pick him up outside of baggage claim.
Me, being the horrible listener that I am, rushed our children through dinner and out the door in order to surprise him in baggage claim at 7. Now, let me pause and say that my children are not rushers. In fact, I chuckle at that statement of if you want to hear God laugh, tell Him your plans because I think the same can be said for toddlers.
All day, I prepped them.
12:00 p.m. "We're going to go to the Y and then come home and we are not going to take off our shoes and socks and eat dinner and then get back in the car and get daddy from the airport."
2:00 "No, today Elizabeth...Daddy is coming home today."
4:00 "We are going to the Y. DO NOT OPEN THE TOY BOX. I need your shoes and socks. YES, YOU HAVE TO GO!"
5:30 "Get in the house, DO NOT TAKE YOUR SHOES OFF, wash your hands and get to the table. WHY ARE YOU ON YOUR BIKE?! DON'T YOU WANT TO GET DADDY?"
6:00 "STOP SINGING AT THE TABLE AND EAT! DADDY IS ON THE AIRPLANE RIGHT NOW!"
Finally, with promises of getting ice cream on the way home, we made it out the door and successfully into the parking garage and then baggage claim. I have to say, the girls were so good. Wide eyed and curious, they gripped both of my hands strong and looked at all the conveyors and stairs and lit up signs. We found the escalator that Scott would come down and waited, since the ticker said that he had landed.
Squatting down beside my two girls, I strained my eyes to catch a glimpse of my husband and as soon as I saw him, I told them.
"Do you see him? Do you see Daddy?" I asked Elizabeth.
It took her a couple seconds until she did, but then her eyes lit up and she yelled, "Yes! I see him, Mama! There's Daddy!"
I could see Rachel struggling with the whole concept and then all of a sudden, I saw the recognition in my youngest's eyes and heard her yell, "Dada!!" while her little feet started sprinting up and down in place. It's a good thing he was almost at the bottom of the escalator at that point because I let them both go and they ran to him full force.
My friends, this is yet another picture stamped on my heart that I'll live with forever. Especially because I also got to see my husband's eyes as he was half way down the escalator and caught sight / heard us for the first time. I saw him swim through the mixed emotions of surprise and love and missing and relief and then grab his little girls and pick them up and spin them around until they giggled.
We both had tears in our eyes as we saw Elizabeth and Rachel clutching his shoulders and telling him how much they had missed him over the four days...as if it had been months or years.
We had a great ride home, catching up with inserts from the backseat reminding us of the promise of ice cream. We got the girls to bed and went about our usual routine of getting the house straightened up and catching up on emails and preparing for the final work day of the week.
Climbing into bed, Scott put his arms around me and said, "I will never forget tonight as long as I live. I will have the vision of you three at the bottom of the escalator forever in my heart. Thank you."
Well worth not doing what you're told...welcome home, Daddy!
Ok, off to my tea.