This past weekend I was invited to be the Re-enlisting Officer for my brother-in-law Nick, who serves as a Corpsman at Camp LeJuene in Jacksonville, North Carolina. Rachel and I decided that we would make this occasion a dry run for our Christmas trip to St. Louis and try taking the twins on an airplane. I must admit I had some serious trip trepidation, but I'm happy to report that the excursion went much better than we anticipated.
The twins ate four meals in airports or on planes, and did not vomit on any unsuspecting travellers. They didn't annoy the other passengers by crying on the planes, although Mal did whimper for a while. No one gave Rachel angry, naughty or even interested looks when she nursed Micah in public; mostly people just minded their own business. The only negative experience was when a flight attendant had to separate Rachel and me on the second leg of the trip. The plane we rode in was tiny and only had three emergency oxygen masks per row, and so our family of four had to split up between two rows. However, the flight attendant whose head was already in the clouds moved me to a row next to a woman in a flu mask who apparently had some terrible variant of the whooping cough. Within seconds of me sitting down next to the human H1N1 virus, Rachel was yelling for the flight attendant to move me again. Luckily there was another woman one row up from my new seat that switched me. Apparently she was either blinded by Malorie's cuteness or was a danger seeker, because I am pretty sure that she is now bedridden with some terrible malady.
Once we arrived in North Carolina's Jacksonville, the real fun began as Micah and Malorie met their 13 month old cousin Kaileb for the first time. Kaileb is at exactly the right age to be curious about babies, and so he immediately tried to trade Micah pacifiers. However, coordination at 13 months is not as developed as you would imagine, so Kaileb promptly stuck the offering into Micah's eye instead of his mouth. The next three days were filled with equally hilarious and frightening interactions between the cousins that made us laugh while cringing.
Kaileb is an absolute hoot, the kind of kid you can't help but love, which is a testament to what a fantastic parenting job my sister Katie and her sailor husband Nick are doing. They are faring quite well for themselves, which made me content as a big brother and as a Godfather to Kaileb. As I re-enlisted Nick for another four year tour in the Navy, I swelled with pride for his accomplishments as a sailor, a lifesaver, a husband and a father. Thanks again for the honor of re-enlisting you, Nick.
Finally, I wanted to share a picture of my babies. They are really doing well with the head control, starting to sit in bumpo chairs and smiling a lot more these days. However, I still sometimes think of Micah and Mal as my little Red and Lellow. This outfit coordination was not planned, but the coincidence was noticed. Whether we're in Jacksonville, Florida; Jacksonville, North Carolina; or any of the 50 Springfields out there, I will still associate those two colors with my babes.