It has been three months since I have heard from my husband. The last time I saw him was through a computer screen while I was giving birth to our daughter. I haven't gotten any calls or letters.
I wiped away the tears and went back to making breakfast. Alexander Jr. was sitting at the table, playing with his toy cars and Alanna was sleeping upstairs.
I flipped the pancake that I was making and looked down at the Mickey Mouse shape I made it form. Alexander taught me how to make these before he left for Afghanistan and I've made them every Saturday morning since then for Alexander Jr.
I glanced over my shoulder at my four year old. I had him while Alex was still home. He was thrilled when I had a baby girl. I remember exactly what he said. "Now we have a little girl for me and AJ to protect." I smiled and looked back at the pancake. He made sure that he added that they would protect me too.
I closed my eyes and took a deep breath. I turned off the stove and flipped the pancake onto a plastic plate and got a small fork. I grabbed the butter and syrup and tucked them under my arm and grabbed the small plastic cup of milk I had set next to the butter and syrup.
Alexander Jr. got excited when I put the pancake down on the table for him. I smiled at him and helped him put on the butter and syrup. I sat down in the chair adjacent to him and watched him start eating.
"Are you going to come shopping with Alanna and me?" I asked him, leaning my arm on the table. He looked up at me with his baby blue eyes and his mouth full of pancake. He nodded vigorously and went back to eating. "Slow down you little monster or you're going to choke."
He smiled and nodded again, slowing down. I watched his black hair flop around as he kept looking from me to the plate to the stairs to the door. I knew exactly what he was doing. He was checking on me, eating, checking on his sister, and waiting for daddy to come home. I smile at him and stood up, going back into the kitchen and starting the dishes.
Once he was finished, he walked into the kitchen and put the plate in the sink and finished his milk, the cup following the plate. He then walked back out into the dining room and grabbed the butter and syrup. He has grown up so fast. He's four years old and already helps out around the house. He's grown up too fast. He opens the fridge and puts the syrup on the bottom shelf of the door and the butter on the bottom shelf of the fridge.
I smile at him and he looks up at me. "I'm going to go get ready, mommy. Finish the dishes then you go get ready too. Then get Alanna ready and meet me in the living room." He smiled his big cheesy smile and ran upstairs. I couldn't help but to laugh at him. He sounds just like his father. I finish the dishes and go upstairs to get dressed. I change out of my pajama shorts and Alex's pt shirt and change into a baby blue sun dress. I take the necklace off my dresser and put it around my neck and put my rings on. I smile and look down at the necklace. There are four things on it, Alex's dog tags, his class ring from high school, and the ring he gave me when he asked me out in high school.
I finished getting ready then went and got Alanna dressed. I put her in a one piece outfit that was white and said "my daddy serves this country" and had dog tags underneath 'country.' I put her in her car seat and grabbed the diaper bag. I walked down to the living room where Alexander Jr. was waiting with his hat and shoes on. His hat was a baseball cap that looked exactly like the one Alex wears with his uniform. It even had our last name sewn into the back. I smiled and walked over to the door, putting Alanna down and putting on my shoes. I opened the door behind me and went to go pick up Alanna again when Alexander Jr. yelled and ran full sprint out the door. I didn't understand what he yelled but as soon as I turned around, I knew.
Alex was standing at the bottom of the steps hugging his now crying son but looking directly at me. I stood, frozen. My husband is home. I watched him walk up the steps put Alexander Junior down.
Tears started to fall from my eyes and stream down my cheeks. I ran the short distance between us and hugged him as tight as I could, never wanting to let go, as he swung me around. He set me down and kissed me passionately.
"Daddy! Come meet my baby sister, Alanna!" I heard Alexander Junior say and I felt one of Alex's hands leave my back. I turned and walked over to the baby. She was now awake and looking around trying to figure out what all the excitement was about.
I took her out of the car seat and turned to him. He was holding Alexander Junior with one arm and he held out the other for Alanna and me. I smiled and walked over to his outstretched arm and he held us close. I closed my eyes, not letting anymore tears fall.
We never did go shopping. We spent the entire night at home together. We also ended up with twins nine months later. One boy, one girl. Mathew and Mackenzie.