I've been away from the family for three-and-a-half weeks, and I can say with confidence that I won't be doing that again for a long, long time.
When I arrived at the airport (30 minutes early), I quickly got my bag and headed out to the curbside waiting area. A few minutes passed before a brown kid came running up to me. I did a double-take before recognizing my own birthright child, dressed in new, skin-tight dark brown pajamas. Behind him, in similarly fitted pee-jays (pink), ran Kasia, with longer hair than I remember, her arms out wide ready to give me a much-awaited hug. Man, I love those kids! The Sarah appeared, holding Tommy--who has grown a good deal in a month; he has more hair and is quite a bit more active and squirmy. People were staring as I hugged them all, but I was more proud than embarrassed.
On the way home, Kasia asked to listen to "Come on, come on, come on, come on," which, translated, means Track 3 on the new Def Leppard cd. Proud of my daughter's incredibly developed taste, I obliged, and we cruised home in the night to the melodic wailings of Joe Elliot & Co.
I spent the day with them, not doing much work (I figure I owe them that!). We watched cartoons, I threw them on the Lovesac and rolled them up in a blanket (this was a request: "Like a taco, dad!"). Will helped me unpack and arrange things, we all met Sarah at the hospital (where she interns as a social worker) to eat lunch on the lawn, and Tommy and I bonded, but not without a fair share of drool soaking my t-shirt.
I got into Penn State's grad program and start in January.
Helios kicks off its sales efforts next week.