7:00pm I give a valiant attempt to get Mary Erin to bed sooner than normal.
7:30pm I tuck the girls in; they wait for a story.
7:35pm Annika tells me she doesn't want their plane to crash, that she will miss Mary Erin. I remind her nothing can happen to us that God doesn't allow. I tell her more people die in cars than planes. I tell her we'll pray about it.
8:00pm Mary Erin sleeps, the 3 younger girls hang on Ross begging for another story.
8:30pm All the girls sleep.
9:00pm Ross wakes Annika to ask her a question about something reported to him about one of her classmates.
9:30pm Benaiah and I hit the sack for the night.
10:30pm I hear Ross shaving.
11:00pm Ross comes to bed.
12:00am Eva comes in. Why? She doesn't know. I put her back to bed.
12:30am Ross' alarm goes off. I frantically run to it, pressing all the buttons I can feel.
12:45am Ross' other alarm goes off. He gets up. I hear other sounds, maybe shaving again?
1:05am I gently wake Mary Erin and tell her "It's time!"
1:10am I frantically dump all of Mary Erin's Turkish lira on my bed, give her a good US Dollar exchange rate, and stick her money in her backpack.
1:13am I calm her fears that airport security is going to confiscate her hand sanitizer and hand lotion. I tell her, "You're a kid. Maybe they'll let you keep it."
1:14am I start to remind her to be careful wearing crocs on the escalators, recalling something I read in the news. I change my mind.
1:15am The apartment bell rings. I quickly answer and hiss back, "Coming!" hoping all the while it doesn't wake everyone else in the house.
1:16am I start hugging Mary Erin. I try not to cry. I think about how she was 4 the last time she did this...a little bob in her hair, a kitty cat t-shirt. I try not to think about it.
1:17am Ross tells me he has packed 3 books for reading. He asks me will he have time?
1:18am I tell him he will not have time. I tell him the books will just be heavy.
1:19am We call the elevator. Ross runs back in to put all but 1 book back.
1:20am I remind him the driver is waiting.
1:21am He reminds me the driver will wait.
1:22am I hug Mary Erin again. She begins telling me about Mr. Popper's Penguins. I am trying not to think about how tall she has grown.
1:23am I tell Mary Erin this was all my idea to let her go, that I hope she has a wonderful time. I consider saying, "America or Bust" but decide it will take too long to explain it. What does "Bust" mean anyway?
1:24am Ross is last-minute analyzing if he has forgotten anything, which is fine by me as long as it doesn't include analyzing dating, proposing to, or marrying me.
1:25am I call out, "passport, money." He says he has it.
1:26am I smile one last time and tell them I will miss them.
2:15am I call Ross' cell phone. Airport desks aren't open, they tell me. They got there 2 hours early for nothing. We talk, say goodbye again, all tell each other how much we love each other.
2:25am I try to sleep. My feet are cold. I put on socks.
6:45am I wake, realizing they are almost to Belgium, and I have started my 2 weeks without them.