Home. We made it. And I've been too busy pinching myself to post. I'd apologize, but it's hard to feel bad about anything that's happened in the past 72 hours. It is SO good to be home.Our freedom flight did not hit the skies until 5:30 Saturday night. That meant we had the entire day to pack it up and pass the time. Together. Outside the 12 x 12 room where we had just spent the last 13 days. Time to do whatever we wanted. I could not stop smiling.
So we drove. We drove 90 minutes to Atlantic City. It was 102 degrees and crazy humid when we arrived. That led to a 10 minute sprint to touch Mac's toes into the ocean for the first time and quickly back to the car. Heat, heart surgery, toddlers; it's a bad cocktail we wanted no part of. Don't worry; he'll get an extended opportunity to put his toes into the sand soon enough.
The flight home was perfect. McKay was an angel. He slept, snacked, laughed, and charmed the cashmere blazer right off the button up-type across the aisle. It's officially impossible to keep your guard up with this kid. Stand back. He'll melt ya'.
Sunday seemed a long day waiting for the brothers to arrive. My sister did not get my message about us being home until their journey home was well underway. She helped keep our arrival a secret from the boys who rolled in speechless. The hugs between us were one thing. I missed them terribly - ached for them, really - and it felt so good to feel their arms around my waist. The reunion between brothers was something to behold. It wasn't wild hugs and laughter. It was quiet, and thoughtful, and a just-let-me-take-a-minute-to-look-at-you moment.
Preston marveled, "No tubes, mom."
Ty patted his head and said, "We need to be careful with him, right?"
Right. However, I cannot guarantee how long McKay will agree to be careful with you, I thought. And after a few moments, it seemed McKay remembered. He stuck out his little Frankenstein arms and began harassing the boys. Grabbing at their necks and shirts and middles from behind. They giggled and gently patted him away.
These brothers are thick and it's a beautiful thing to behold.
Matt and I secretly held our breath until Monday. They called early and asked us to be there within the hour. Here we go, I thought. An xray was about to tell us if the togetherness could continue. Come on buddy.
Everything about McKay said he felt better. He colored in the lobby why we waited for the xray. He seemed happy and well.
I love it when I'm right.
His xray was clear. CLEAR. As in: No fluid. No effusion. Poof! Gone. Magic.
Our cardio angel could not have been more pleased. She told us to cut one of the six doses of meds he's currently receiving and gave us the week off. We'll check back in next Monday to make sure all continues to look amazing.
We celebrated with a long overdue haircut.
Then came home for a dance party with the boys.
Today, our hearts all feel more whole. This week has taught us a few things we already knew: Prayers are answered. Hope is always in order. Everyday miracles surround us.
We also learned that hospitals are not true places of healing. They are places of fixing. Of brilliance. Of absolutely life-saving events. But no one leaves a hospital healed. Especially two year olds who cannot understand why every visitor they receive in this strange place brings pain and fear. And, most of all, why mom and dad allow it to happen again and again. No; while we were feeling grateful, none of us felt healed.
Real healing comes when the spirit is allowed to feel safe and cared for and loved. Home is magic. Family and familiarity and routine. Our smells. Our people. Our space. It was exactly what Mac needed to get over his complication. And we are drop-down, on-our-knees grateful for one of the most pedigreed, trained, and skilled medical teams in the world letting go of all they know about medicine and their power to treat, and remembering that their ultimate goal is to heal. Well done.