If a normal picture is worth a thousand words, I'm sure this one is a billion and two.
A billion and two because it takes just that many words to even come close to the feelings that overwhelmed our family from this homecoming.
Some of which include happy, overjoyed, anxious, impatient, and new.
What's interesting, too, about this picture is the fact that the smallest part also happens to be the one that says the most.
There's something magical about Charlie's smile. I remember when I put Mr. H's cover on his little head and his face lit up. Even being so young, he seems to have grasped that, at that very moment, pure joy has never been so near.
I can tell you, right now, I felt my heart swell about a million times over––almost like my chest was about to burst. My cheeks were hurting from smiling so much, and I know Mr. H had never shown as much teeth as he had in that one second as he had in his entire life.
But you can't even see our faces...you can only see Charlie's. Somehow though, I still remember that swelling feeling just by looking at his smile.
I also forgot the endless nights of staying up taking care of him with no husband to help at all. I know Mr. H talks about how in that second he forgot about the harsh weather conditions, the filth of a war ravaged country, and the long nights he spent thinking of us.
It's easy to forget that. It's easy to forget even the very words that could describe whatever I was feeling. I think all it took was Charlie's smile. To this day, I don't think his smile will ever mean how happy he is to me. All I'll ever think about is this one picture. I'll think about every instance that led up to this moment and even everything that happened because of it.
Our lives will forever revolve around his smile...and continue to tell our story through it.