I did get Mary’s hair braided again Tuesday night, before it was time to leave town again:
Yesterday morning went so well the children were in good moods for pictures as we sang and did our prayers and scripture study:
I love my family so much!
I went to work Wednesday morning for my CPE class, which is the intensive chaplain training class once a week. It’s some brutal group therapy, as well as didactics and other lessons. It was my turn in the hot seat, processing some questions about when I was little and when I ran away as a teenager.
I also shared about my faith journey, from growing up Southern Baptist to attending Jewish synagogue to going through Catholic catechism to the silent Buddhist retreat in Switzerland, all before receiving a true witness experience of the Savior and testimony of the truth of the Book of Mormon and the restoration of the priesthood, and temples and prophets with it. I shared about temple recommend interviews, answered briefly questions about garments, and reassured them my husband only has one wife. My peers are amazing, and we are a good team. They were very respectful and attentive, and it is a safe place for sharing things special to me as much as hard things that need healing.
I left class at lunchtime, had lunch with Nathan, loaded the van with luggage, and then picked up all my babies.
They escorted me to the airport, to get a tour. They loved seeing airplanes! They also all got weighed! It was so funny!
Mary met a cleaning lady in the bathroom who was “brown and not in jail” and who could sign to her! Mary shared about being adopted from foster care, and was so excited for a new friend.
We got all checked in, finally, and it was time to say goodbye:
I am going to Salt Lake for annual chaplain training. Kyrie came with me for some appointments at Primary Children’s, and for us to spend some time together since I was gone from her last week and she can still fly for free. Once we got through security, she was set!
It didn’t take her long to get comfortable for her walk the way she always does in the strolle, with her feet up relaxed the way Mama sits in her chair! It’s so funny! It actually also helps with her blood pressure and breathing, and she has just naturally done it since she was a baby.
As we started to walk from security to our gate, we heard the kids shout, WE LOVE YOU, Mama! the same way I always have them shout goodbye to people as we leave in the van. It was amazing, and made me cry!
The airline let us load first, as oxygen on a flight is a tricksy thing. As I watched her check out the airplane, I wondered if she remembered our flight home from Cincinnati children’s last summer, or our life flight before that, or her helicopter flight the day she was born. I do remember, vividly, and reared up again at it – maybe especially because of just having recorded the audiobook for Keeping Kyrie.
Once people started getting on the plane, though, she was delighted. I am pretty sure she thought it was a parade just for her. She said, “Hi!” to every single person, and I am pretty sure most of them shook her little hand or patted her on the head.
I did the same thing as when she was a baby, and waited to give her dinner until it was time for takeoff. This made dinner messier in confined quarters, but kept her quiet and busy for the flight. She was so good! Once she was finished eating, we did this for four hours: open, close, open, close.
We landed in Salt Lake about 830, and she was so tired! Me, too. Our friend Lisa, who also has a (grown) child with PRS, picked us up from the airport and is very kindly letting us stay with them. We appreciate their hospitality, and transportation in the next week. Kyrie is especially excited about their puppy – who actually is a rescue puppy with trachea problems! We settled in quickly, and Kyrie took inventory of the favorite toys brought from home. She slept all night in a pack n play next to my bed in a home that understands pulse ox and color changes and oxygen concentrators. This is a blessing, indeed.