A early morning bus to Dublin, 4 hour wait in the airport, 7 hour Aer Lingus flight, 50 minute car drive, and 30 minutes of hiding behind the a bush in the cold was certainly worth the while to surprise my Dad! For the record, I normally ruin surprises, so actually pulling this off was a Christmas miracle. I was up bright and early full of excitement and anxious to see my dad. Although I almost missed my morning bus, the day of traveling went really well. I was able to shut my eyes on the plane for a couple hours and had a nice warm tea. Huge thank you to Aer Lingus for a safe and enjoyable flight. Once I landed, I sprinted to Dunkin’ Donuts for an iced caramel swirl coffee. Four months without Dunkin’ might have been the hardest part about moving to Ireland.
My two close family friends Freem, my high school Spanish teacher who I consider my second mom, and Laura, my long lost big sister, helped me plan the entire surprise. They invited my dad over for a pizza night to celebrate little Erin’s acceptance into Johnson and Whales University and neither of them knew of my arrival home. Freem picked me up from the airport and brought me to Laura’s house. She dropped me off at the end of the street and I waited outside until they all sat down to eat. I ran up to the front door and knocked on it. Little Erin opened it and instantly began to cry! She was so happy I was home. I heard my dad “wait, who is at the door?” I popped my head around the corner and saw his face completely light up. I walked over and said, “hey there lad!” I gave him the biggest hug and he continued to smile. It was an extremely emotional moment. I’ve never been far away from home nor have I spent more than 10 days away from my dad.
This time of year, is my absolute favourite. Watching Christmas movies, drinking hot chocolate, making homemade cookies with kids, playing in the snow, and most importantly, spending time with all the people that I love is what I enjoy the most. The holidays are also very tough without my mom here. There’s an empty seat at the Christmas dinner table, an empty space in the pew at church and no presents with her name on them under the Christmas tree, but I made it a point to make sure that my dad and I have a special Christmas. Our family might be small, but it is strong.
I’m home for Christmas everyone!