I checked the calendar, tomorrow I would see Catie. When she left on March 4th I hugged her and told myself this second three-month internship in Germany would fly by.
A few months into the trip I got a phone call.
“Mom, what would you think about me taking classes online and staying in Germany and intern at the church another year?”
After many phone calls, prayer and conversations she decided to stay. She changed her ticket to come home December 14th to see us for Christmas for a few days.
Finally. The wait was almost over. I went to bed last night with my heart full. One.more.day. 285 days. That’s a long time to have not seen my baby.
The doorbell rang at 11 pm last night.
The image when I opened the door is forever etched on my mind. My baby was standing there.
I don’t think I stopped hugging her and crying for a half hour.
My beautiful and amazing children planned that moment for months. The ticket was always December 13th, not December 14th like they told me. They had spent much time coordinating all the details, Jon taking off work, picking her up from the airport, and getting her home to surpise us.
A family holiday tradition since my children were babies is “Going Crazy.” Sometime between Thanksgiving and Christmas after the children were tucked in bed we’d sneak up and tell them we were, “Going Crazy.” We’d load them into the car in their pajamas and drive around town looking at Christmas lights drinking hot chocolate, eating popcorn and listening to Christmas music.
When they got older James and I counted it a success when we could do it on a night they weren’t expecting. A few years ago, the kids hitchhiked our tradition by planning and successfully surprising James and me with “Going Crazy.”
With Catie overseas, it became more challenging–but last year they planned it the minute Catie landed in Cleveland to James and my shock and delight.
Now–this year they outdid themselves. Catie came home from Germany a day early!
I sat on my couch hugging my babies long into the night. Having my family all in one room, being able to hug both my children at the same time–that’s the most precious gift this mama could receive. I feel so loved to have children who get me and love me so much.