I knew what I was getting into, but decided that it was worth it. In the end, making the trip halfway around the world with three kids in tow was not as hard as I thought it was going to be. Sleeping and eating meals on the plane with a toddler in my lap was not easy. The prayers of a worried husband and concerned friends covered us, lifted us and got us here with no real problems. I am so grateful for that. My dad and his friend drove to Chicago and picked us up, which made things so much easier once we reached the US of A.
Leaving Chicago behind and heading south meant hours of flat land covered in corn and soybean fields (and in one place, huge windmills). This 8+ hour drive from Chicago was probably more challenging than the 21 hours in planes and airports. An early lunch at Cracker Barrel helped some. The stark reality was that we were all bone tired. #1 slept much of the time, #2 wasn’t feeling very well (read: extremely whiny), Toddler Girl was clinging to me like plastic wrap and I was ready for a break from taking care of them. My dad and his friend were patient and accommodating on what was probably the most inefficient road trip either of them had ever taken.
After multiple stops for toilet breaks, snacks or petrol, we finally arrived at my hometown and were greeted by my sister’s family, my brother’s family (minus my brother who’d gone back to Missouri to work), my grandmother and my mom–who had dinner, bedrooms, even slippers ready for us.
The boys re-connected with their cousins right away and were out in the backyard, up trees and on the jungle gym in a matter of minutes. It’s always good to see them playing so well with their cousins whom they see so rarely. Toddler Girl took a little longer to get warmed up to these people she only remembered seeing occasionally on a computer screen. She was soon joining in the fun and took an immediate liking to my 90-year-old grandmother!
We had a late dinner, baths and finally we all got to bed around 10:30pm. The boys slept right through until 7:00am. First my phone ringing with a call from Singapore (which I did NOT answer), and then Toddler Girl woke me up at 3 and 4:30am respectively. There was no getting her back to sleep, so we got up, got dressed, had a snack and milk and went outside to get the newspaper, watch the birds feeding, feel the dew and experience the coolness of the early Tennessee morning.