We are reunited and it feels so good!
Jeff returned home last night from 71 days (who's counting?) in the Pacific. We're pretty darn happy around here today; Wyatt is so glad Daddy's here to play with him, Natalie seems fascinated that he's three-dimensional again and I am just enjoying every bit of all of it. Jeff was fortunate to fly a jet back (I say fortunate because every flight that lands is a good flight, yet I wouldn't want to be in the cockpit of that airplane for 9.5 hours; maybe that's why I'm not the pilot in the family) and that meant we had the opportunity to meet him at the jet last night when he and his seven buddies landed. It is such a fun thing to be out there with all the other families, all waiting for their best guy to come home. Many of our friends were gone for the entire four month deployment, so you can imagine how excited they were to be back together again!
The kids and I loaded up a little after seven to head down to the base and it's getting dark here at that time of night. Apparently Wyatt doesn't remember being out and about in the dark because he was flat-out fascinated by the glowing signs - he said, "hey Mom! All those signs have lights in them and they glow!" He also wanted to know why "all those people" were out driving at night. Sometimes I forget how innocent little minds are; of course it would seem to him that the whole world goes to bed by 8:30 every night. I mean, he does, so why wouldn't everyone else?
We only had to wait for about a half-hour inside the squadron before it was time to head out. It was thirty minutes of energy-release for the kids, running up and down the hallways, stopping only long enough to point out all the pictures of airplanes (hint: there are a lot and hint #2: Natalie's as into them as Wyatt is). Then, before we knew it, we loaded into the truck and made our way to the flight line. Wyatt wanted his sound-muffling headset before we exited the building and Natalie didn't want hers at all. By the time Jeff pulled in, she realized why she needed to wear them but still didn't get that Daddy was inside that jet. Wyatt, however, was keenly aware of what he was waiting for and spent approximately ten minutes jumping up and down, saying, "Daddy! Daddy!" His eyes were glued to Jeff's jet from the moment we saw them enter the pattern until the second Jeff got out.
|there's Daddy's jet, engines are finally shut down|
|a little closer, ladder's up and we can see him|
|more jumping because hey! There's my Daddy!|
|and finally, with one leap|
|...it was just what Wyatt needed.|
|Wyatt has been this close to Jeff for the last 24 hours|
|who looks happiest?|
|Me. I think I look the happiest of all.|