Thursday, June 26, 2008

Me N The City: Part 14 – Homecoming

Throughout my trip, I had done much better than expected on the “sad Mommy” part. Don’t get me wrong – Hubby had strict instructions to send me videos and photos of the little one as often as possible so every few hours I would get a snap shot or two of “morning walk” or “bathtime” to help ease the blues. And, of course, every time we’d see a little one in a stroller my heart would melt a little more. But there were no tears, no major depression and no major dent in our weekend joy.

However, as Sarah and I boarded our flight in NYC to head back to Chicago, I was ready. We had had a great weekend, albeit one full of Murphy’s Law events, but we got to spend a lot of really great girl time that we hadn’t had in years and years. I wouldn’t have chosen any other way to spend my first mommy-weekend-away or anyone else to spend it with. Sarah and I don’t get to see each other more than a few times a year at best and it was wonderful to have that reconnect time. (Even though I’m now in withdrawals).

But now it was time to go back to my family. We made it to O’Hare without event and as we approached my gate, we heard them calling my last name – my flight was boarding NOW and it was last call. We exchanged sudden, quick hugs, and I sprinted for the jetway. Once safely on board, alone for the first time in three days, I had time to think about what I was heading home to. I had a wonderful hubby who had gladly given up his whole weekend to be a single dad just so I could have mine. I never had to worry once if Cora was being cared for properly or if she felt happy and safe. I had a wonderful weekend with a wonderful friend to show for it. I was blessed. But I knew that now the only thing I wanted was for the oversized cigar tube I was sitting in to get back to Iowa as soon as safely possible. I wanted my family.

That 45 minute flight seemed inordinately long, and the closer we got the ancier I got. I knew my parents would be waiting for me at the airport with Cora in tow (Hubby was diligently hosting our Sunday open house at home) and I just wanted to hold my baby. By the time we taxied into the gate, I was one of those annoying passengers who sprung up into the aisle before the “ding” of the seatbelt sign could end its chime. I actually found myself saying – almost out loud – “c’mon… c’mon people… c’mon.” As we exited the plane I was passing people on the jet bridge, and powerwalking through the airport like a granny in a mall.

Once the escalators to the waiting area came into sight a million things went through my mind:

Will she remember me? What if she’s forgotten me already? Babies don’t have long memories. Wow when did I get all sappy like this? I never liked kids. I didn’t even like babysitting. Am I seriously all in a swivet over seeing my kid? Wow, I am. I really am. Darn right I am. I want my Coco NOW! ... But what if she doesn’t remember me??

I skipped the escalators and ran down the stairs – I saw my mom holding my little munchkin and felt my heart literally tug. Who knew those colloquialisms were based on something real? She had her head turned the other way and was waiving and saying “hi” to all the people walking by on their way to baggage claim. I snuck up behind her and simply said “Coco – who is it?” She turned around and looked me right in the eye… nothing. No reaction whatsoever. No smile, no tears, nothing. She just stared at me. My heart dropped into my stomach – she had forgotten me!

I quickly put my bag down and grabbed my child from my mother’s arms and said “Coco – its Mommy!” Instantly she buried her head in my neck, wrapped both little arms around my shoulders hanging on for dear life, and kicked her little feet fast and furious. This went on for a good two minutes before I could even get her to look up. When she did her little face was beaming. It wasn’t that she hadn’t remembered me, it was that she was overcome when she saw me and didn’t know what to do. I understood that.

We got my bags – or rather my parents got my bags … Cora was NOT letting mommy go – and we headed out of the airport. I was heading home to see the love of my life while sitting next to the best thing I’d ever done. I realized then that while the weekend in NYC was wonderful, and I wouldn’t hesitate to go again (just maybe this time with the whole family and with a little more time to spare), that the best part of the trip was coming home. I never thought I’d be excited to leave NYC and come back to Iowa. But I was. And for the first time in my life, Iowa seemed like the exact right place to be

The End.


Lori S said...

That was a great story Kristy! Nothing better than those little arms around you knowing that they missed you!

Amy said...

OMG.....make me cry this morning, why don't ya?!

And I love the part about you power-walking like a granny in a mall! What a word picture......I can see you now! Ha!

Glad you had a great weekend, but what am I gonna do now that the NYC saga has ended?! Can't wait til this fall to read your Reunion that should be a HOOT!!