|Lexi, Oct. 2012|
It's been a hard time for her, and for those of us who love and missed her, especially over the holidays.
Her daughter, at eighteen months, probably had the easiest time of all of us. While she most certainly missed her mother, she is young enough to not yet have a sense of yesterday or tomorrow. As near as we could tell, from her point of view, Mama wasn't here right now because Mama had gone away to live in the iPad. (they got to see each other a few times via Skype, and so she figured that's where Mama had gone. Whenever she saw one of the devices, she'd point to it and say, "Mama!")
I was telling the people at work about Kate and the baby and how long she'd been gone and how much we missed her and how much I'd love to see the baby's face when she finally got to see her mama again, when I stopped and thought, "why not? It takes her 36 hours to get home, I can get to Minnesota in eight. hmmmm..."
So, when Kate e-mailed this past Saturday morning, to let me know she was coming home, I decided to put my wild idea about driving up to meet her plane into play. I called Joe, who dropped everything and headed back to Kansas City from Rolla. I called Vincent, to find out exactly when she was due in, and to make sure he didn't mind if we joined him to pick her up at the airport. I sent a note into work to let them know I wouldn't be in on Monday. Sunday morning, Joe and I left for Minnesota. (The weather gods cooperated - it was clear and cold; no precipitation coming down to slow us down.)
We got there just in time to stop at the house, drop off our car, and climb in with Vincent and the baby. As we were pulling up to the baggage claim area, Kate called to let us know she was in. (Vincent had inadvertently ruined the surprise when Kate's plane was delayed in Chicago, and let her know we were coming. Oh, well - this way she had something to look forward to on the last leg of her flight.) Joe went in first, to help her with her bags, and when they didn't come out right away, I followed with the baby (leaving Vincent at the curb in the car).
As I walked inside, I was telling Lexi, "there's Mama. See, there's Mama!" She didn't get it. She was looking around, but all she saw was a crowd of people. But Kate heard me, and started towards us. I was watching Lexi's face as she saw her beloved Mama come into focus. Her eyes grew wide, as if she didn't quite understand what she was seeing. Then, as she began to believe, she smiled a little half smile. When Kate came near and it was clear that she was REALLY here, the half smile turned into the biggest smile ever. Mama was home! She had gotten out of the iPad to come home!
Those few moments made the trip worthwhile.