The point is, you call 'I gotta go', you basically have called dibs on the schedule for the next fifteen minutes. It's like Shotgun, but for the toilet, or karate, or Girl Scouts. It's almost like calling "ACTION!" in a movie. Someone says it, and everyone else starts moving. Well, everyone except for one person...
And then everything stopped. The boys were smashing open Bakugans. McGee was in the middle of a
"Umm, guys. Looks like I gotta go..."
McGee: What?! What about the Halloween thing?
McLovin: I'm sorry. You can still go with Mommy.
Happy: You're going to Again-istan? Again? No Daddy. No.
McLovin: Just for a while buddy.
McGee: How long?
McLovin: Until they don't need me to be there.
Lefty: So, other people get to come home now?
Lefty: Well, they'll be happy. And maybe we wouldn't be so sad if they just wouldn't shoot people over there.
His bag is set up in our closet - again. And all the travel stuff is out on the countertops. Again. And it's written up on our calendar in the kitchen. And we all know that nothing is really happening until it's written on the calendar in the kitchen. They stood there and stared at me while I wrote it. It's a long f**king word. It takes up a whole week of squares just to write it.
Lefty came to me last night and wanted to know how far away it is. We looked it up. It's 6,930 miles away. But this is what we saw when we typed it into Google:
And then he deflated. When he was little, he and McGee loved that song "How Far is Heaven?" by the Los Lonely Boys. They'd sing along and then ask how many planes away were places they'd been. Boston? One plane. Texas? Two planes. The fun beach? Three planes and Mommy's not so happy when they arrive and then Papa gives her a pina colada. Heaven was two hundred planes. Too many to try and take until you were old and ready. And everyone you love is there waiting for you.
He asked me how many planes it was. I told him it was just two, but he didn't like that answer.
"Again-istan is like ten million planes and no one you love is there."
Yes there is baby. McLovin is there. And we love him a lot.
On Friday, he's gotta go. We'll spend the next two days imagining him on planes. We'll spend the next several weeks (oh please God weeks and not months) praying we'll get the call that he's coming home. I'll try my best not to let The Fear keep me from taking care of everything while he's gone. I'll think of all the other families who are praying for the safe return of those they can't live without. And how places like Again-istan are actually only two planes away and are filled with people we love.
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