With one final wave,
he was gone.
Today, other than the departure, was a lovely day. I was treated to the pleasure of sleeping in (on a weekday!) and breakfast in bed (Pete brewed an excellent cup of Jen-strength coffee) to start my day. We picked Nick up from school, ate lunch at the "Get your own food/spicy chicken" place (the Delhi Club), retrieved Kelsey and hit both Staples and Red Mango for last minute treats/necessities.
Not long after Cait arrived home, it was time to load up the car and head out to Dulles. I managed to be exhausted by this point, and apparently, I was not the only one. Poor Pete spent half the drive talking to himself as the rest of us napped soundly. Before we all knew it, he was parking and it was almost time to bid farewell.
I must say, I had the feeling I would not cry. Not that I couldn't have, but, this time, I'm ready. We are here, we are settled, NO ONE is getting sick (well, not like last time!), we have an onward assignment and we clearly have so much support. We even managed to have dinner tonight with friends who know exactly what we are going through with the departure, a real treat!
Oddly enough, I've actually been ready for him to go for several days. To go, get started and before we know it, he will be back for an R&R. I'm so happy that he is going in May (vs. the original thought of August) as having him start now is far easier than at the beginning of the school year after a crazy move.
I know it won't always be a cinch, but then again, neither was 3 years on the Secretary's Detail. At least this route allows us three solid breaks when he does nothing but spend time with us and (theoretically) relax. Once it is completely over, it will be time for our next move and we couldn't be more excited about that.
Perhaps *the* moment? As Nick watched Peter walk towards the check-in, he shouted,
"Dad, may the Force be with you. Bye!"
If I didn't know better, I would have sworn that I saw Peter wipe away a tear. I know it's not going to be a cakewalk, but if we could handle the cr*p life threw at us two years ago and get through it relatively unscathed, a little separation won't kill us...it will just make us stronger.