September 26 was the day that did not end. It just kept going, and going, and going, like the Energizer Bunny.
We had another 6:30 flight out of Manila back to New York, resulting in a 2:00 a.m. wake up call. The plan was to get everyone up and dressed and to start getting the luggage down to the lobby. Then, right at the last minute, we would change Francis and bring him down to the waiting car with the last of the carry-on bags. If everything worked right, he would stay asleep. It was, after all, 2:00 in the morning.
That’s right; I said IF everything worked right. We changed him with no problem, picked him up, got to the door of the hotel, and – bang. He woke up. He quietly got into the van and drove with us to the airport, saying goodbye to Manila in his own way. He was going home to the United States.
Because it was such an early flight, we were able to get checked in right away. In fact, we were pretty much the first people in the boarding area waiting for the plane. We sat down to wait, and Francis finally fell asleep on Gregg’s lap. He woke up when it was time to board, though, and that was pretty much the last he would sleep that day.
|The only time Francis slept on the plane.|
Francis really didn’t appreciate the Americanized version of the kid’s meal that the airline provided for him. This was the first that we discovered that macaroni and cheese was not to his liking at all. He ate some fruit and some cookies and picked off of our plates, but otherwise didn’t eat too much. He discovered how to work the personal television on the back of the seat in front of him and played the same cartoon over and over and over again for almost 22 hours straight. Francis slept for a total of about three hours of the 22 hour flight.
When we finally got back to JFK Airport, we were again thrilled with our decision to have a car pick us up and bring us back home. We were beyond exhausted. Francis didn’t want too much to do with me on the way back home and was pretty much stuck to Gregg like glue.
|Headed home at last.|
When we got back to the house, we got the special treat for Lakota that we had left in my car while we were away. The idea was to give it to Francis so he could give it to Lakota, thereby putting him on solid ground with her. She would then be busy chewing and we would have some time to bring in the bags. Not so much. He took one look at Lakota and ran screaming into the next room. Our heads pounded. My mom took care of the dog, my dad took care of the bags, and we took care of Francis. Fortunately, Lakota did want to be friends with Francis and it only took a day or two for the two of them to become best buddies. That day, though, we didn’t know what to expect.
Of course, after being up for well over 24 hours at that point, all we wanted to do was pass out in bed. We still didn’t feel well. We did want to show Francis his new house, of course. Francis loved his new room. He didn’t want to sleep in it – he was afraid of being by himself. He didn’t want to rest. We finally got him to lie down by 8:00 p.m. or so, and we had to camp out with pillows and blankets on the floor next to his bed.
Our adventure in the Philippines was over, but our adventure as Francis’ parents was just beginning. The next year would be filled with some of the most intense ups and downs imaginable. Our boy was finally home. Now forever could begin.
To Be Continued (One More Time)…