T-Minus 11 Days to Wheels-Up
T-Minus 16 Days to Ryan
It’s Saturday evening and we’re about a week and a half away from departure. We spent the day in the City at the Philadelphia Science Festival. It’s been one of our regular Spring activities for a few years now, and it’s grown tremendously in size and attendance. The day was nearly perfect and the kids buzzed through as many booths as they could in our six hours. Once everyone was sufficiently exhausted, we piled back into the car and trekked home. As Lisa and I nearly passed out on the sofa (watching the pre-pre-pre show for the Kentucky Derby), I joked (only half-joked, really) that we need to be ready to take on nearly TWENTY of these days in a row. Starting a WEEK FROM WEDNESDAY … AND… while guiding young Ryan along, as well.
We’ll be ready – we have to be. I hope Aunt Rita’s ready. (I think she’s secretly in training!)
It’s official now, final preparations have begun. I brought our suitcases upstairs from our basement storage room, and Lisa has begun actually putting clothes into them. By Tuesday or Wednesday, they’ll be nearly full, and that when the unpacking and repacking will start. “Did you pack the _____”; “Which suitcase has the ________”; “Do we really need three of those?”; “Have you seen my _______ – I need them for work!”; “Ashley, you’re not taking that, we don’t have any extra room”; “Let me call Rita to see if she’ll have any extra room for our ______”.
No stress there!
Seriously though, we generally know what we’re doing, and the key is organization and a good memory – both Lisa’s long suits. Once the suitcases are finally done, we’ll move on to the backpacks, for all the things we’ll need to have handy for our flights. We’ve got this.
As we’re getting closer, the kids are tuning in much more to the trip and to the approach of our new normal. Lisa and I smile back and forth across the dinner table when Dylan explains in great detail how he teach Ryan about sharks and dinosaurs, and Ashley will show him the finer points of how to walk Murphy, and Kyle will introduce him to sports like basketball and lacrosse (once he’s able to see better…). They’re getting excited to go to China – initially it was for the trip and the great stuff we’ll be doing as a family – now it seems more focused on Ryan and making him feel like part of our family. We can’t wait to have them all together.
I try to have a little fun with this too…
Like when we’re eating dinner, and I look at the last empty chair at our table, and say “Ryan, would you like any more Chicken?” or “Ashley, please pass Ryan the strawberries.” The kids roll their eyes and give me the “Dad, knock it off – he’s not even here yet!”. Then I’ll simply say, “In about a month, Ryan will be here – sitting right in that chair – and you’d better be ready.” Deep down, I know that the next month will evaporate, we’ll have returned from our trip, and we’ll be joking about how Dad used to talk to the chair. Admittedly, a bit goofy…but hopefully in a way that will help them remember later in life how exciting these weeks really were.
That’s it for now, thanks for following.
(On a related note, I couldn’t resist today, on our walk back to the car, asking that “Someone please grab Ryan’s hand, when we cross the street.”)
He’ll be here before we know it.