The children did not know Ben was coming home last Friday until 8pm that night. We were at a friend's house watching a movie when I slipped into the bathroom and changed into a dress. Brother asked me right away why I changed clothes. I told them we were going to go pick up Daddy. Sister cried happy tears. Everyone else jumped for joy.
We arrived at the gym by 8:30pm. The plane originally scheduled to land at 9:25 was changed to 8:45 and then pushed back again to 9:07. The gym is located near the landing strip so we went out the back doors to watch it land. It came a couple of minutes early, but that didn't bother us.
We waited for around 45 minutes before they announced that they were all loaded on the buses and were on the way. When they made that announcement, I was on the way to the bathrooms for the 4th time, this time with Pumpkin. I told Pumpkin we had to hurry because Daddy was on the way. She refused to go to the bathroom but I insisted. I think that was the fastest she moved in a bathroom.
Then, the soldiers marched in. The kids picked Ben out right away, but I had trouble. Luckily, he was at the end of the row right near us.
They played the National Anthem. You gotta love watching soldiers during the National Anthem.
The colonel said some very brief words. And then, they were dismissed.
We are enjoying having him home.
Sister was very emotional about her daddy's return.
We went to the local production of Disney's The Beauty and the Beast. It was a fantastic show with great singing, dance numbers, and sets. A dear friend's three girls were in the show. My three girls gave them each flowers.
We are in the midst of a countdown. The kids don't even know. I'm feeling like a short-timer. With the end in sight, I'm losing it. I'm trying to hold it all in. I have already before 9am yelled at my children. Although, how many times do I have to tell them to get ready for the day before they comply?
Ben will be home soon. I'm hoping before the end of next week but that's a really conservative estimate. He should be home sooner. Until then, I am trying to keep a level head. The weight of being a single parent with a spouse in a war zone though seems to have gotten heavier. After all, our friend, Dave, was two weeks out from returning home before he was killed.
And, the single parent thing. Need I say more? It's not even the physical caring of the children. That's hard too. It's the mental load of taking care of it all. It's been 8 months. I'm ready to be finished.
I didn't get a lot of pictures of the children. This is a great shot of the bows my friend, Cecelia, makes. Cecelia is a fellow ballet mom who has become a good friend. She's going to open up her own business. I'll let you know when her website is ready. She makes awesome bows and the quality is fantastic.