Cliff's return trip home was a nightmare. His plane in Port au Prince had a flat tire. As the airline attendant was very careful to point out, "An airplane flat isn't like a car flat. You just can't use a jack and lugnut wrench. We need to employ special equipment."
So glad she pointed that out.
But guess what? No equipment to be found anywhere. So he sat around and waited until the replacement plane arrived. He then missed his connecting flight in Fort Lauderdale, was rushed to an alternate airport, and then flew to an airport 2 hours away from home. He could have stayed in a hotel and catch a late morning flight home, but,
We just wanted Daddy home.
So Jimmy came over to spend the night with the kids, and Mommy drove the two hours to the airport to pick up Daddy at 11 p.m. After a quick pitstop at Taco Bell, we made it back home and were zonked out by 2 a.m.
And every bit of the exhaustion we both felt was worth it when the kids woke up this morning to find Daddy hanging out in the family room. "Daddy!" Paloma yelled, running to him. Hug. Kiss. Sippy cup. "Green juice please." The kid loves wheat grass/spinach/pear juice.
Atticus comes in next. His face lights up magically. "Daddy!" he says, tackling Cliff on the floor. "I missed you! I'm glad you're home." He stands up. "Can I tell you something? In Star Wars Legoes, in the forest with the Ewoks. . ." and he proceeds to go into a 10 minute (no joke) explanation of his PS2 game.
Hatfield joins us a short while later. "Dada!" she says, hugging him and crying. What is it with 9-year old girls and baby talk? Good golly. "I missed you. Don't leave anymore."
The morning brought me a belated Mother's Day gift. Earlier on in his trip, Cliff emailed me with the boys clothing/shoe size, legal names, birthdays. . .only on the birthday he put the month and the year.
Joel's birthday was a surprise to me, because it is October. We had been told December. Realizing that, I became a bit sad, because it means that he would be at home and age 4 two less months (and isn't age 4 just one of the best with little boys? I loved it!).
So I'm going through the paperwork Cliff brought home, and my eyes nearly jumped out of my head. He wasn't born in 2003, as we had been told. His birthday is 2004! Joel is only 3, not 4! And he'll be 3 when he comes home!
An entire extra year with my boy--what an incredible gift! I started crying at the table right there and then. Cliff looked over my shoulder and saw what I was looking at. "No offense hon, but I couldn't possibly see how you thought he was going to be a 5-year old. They're awfully little and toddler-like."
Yes, that is very true, but in my defense, when I went I compared them against the size of Paloma, our current resident toddler. Paloma is a peanut. I mean, 4th percentile weight, 10th percentile height peanut. People usually say to me, "Will she be 2 soon?" and are shocked when they find out she'll be 3. She's just an itty bit.
I must have looked at the paperwork 3 dozen times today. Just taking in those full legal names (neither are called by their legal names), their dates of birth, their little shoe sizes. Solid facts. Solid data.
We're getting closer. With each day. Doesn't matter how frustrated I am that day, or how much I wonder if we'll ever get to the point of bringing them home, we're one day closer.
Soon, boys. Soon.