My kids are going everywhere.
I spoke briefly to Sam this morning. I was hoping he would call from the airport on his way to Cali so I stayed home, checking the caller ID for odd numbers from a calling card or something. It showed up as Pay Phone and Johnathan answered the call. sounded so great. His flight from Salt Lake to Phoenix had been delayed which would have meant missing their connection onto Orange County, but someone was able to get all 17 missionaries heading to Anaheim onto another, direct flight to Orange County. So, as I write this, he is going through the flurry of activity that means he's reached the mission field. He was picked up by the Mission President and his wife, who will be in charge of his health and safety for the next two years. He then probably went to the Mission Home, where the president and wife live. They probably fed all the incoming missionaries a good meal. Tonight there may be a meeting with whatever missionaries from that mission who are heading home tomorrow. Sometime in the next 24 hours, he'll meet a new companion and get settled in a new apartment, then hit the streets of California to try and help, serve and uplift. I found this little gem in an Alaskan newspaper, and it gives one of the best explanations of what a missionary's intention is that I've ever read.
This afternoon Sara and I ran mad errands to get her ready for her trip to Spain. Her Euros for ready cash are squared away. Her new luggage is bought. A travel-appropriate purse that still meets her style requirements was found. The voltage adapters are bought. She needed a new camera, so that's on the way. Whew. It's been fun to spend the time shopping together and I'm so excited to think that in a week she'll be walking under the Spanish sun.
Sunday afternoon is the big send-off to Spain for Sara and Johnathan, then bright and early Monday morning, Evan and I leave for VA for him to attend a week-long church retreat and then after dropping him off here, I'll head here for my church's Girls' Camp. I'll be assisting in the kitchen as we make and serve meals for approximately 120 people over the course of the 5-day camp, run completely by volunteers.
Eric will be home all alone for a few days. He was wandering around muttering to himself about what he's going to do with himself, but I think he'll be just fine. He can cook for himself, loves quiet time to read and catch up on shows, and time for long bike rides.
In between all the other preparations, I have been baking batches of muffins to contribute to the effort to feed the girls next week. My friend is in charge of the food and she's doing a lot more cooking than me, so I'm happy to help by making a total of 108 muffins by the weekend so they can get frozen and ready for transport up to PA.
It's both intensely gratifying and a little terrifying to see everyone off on all these adventures. Our times of constant togetherness are just plain over. That's the fact of the matter. Now we have new adventures and new relationships and new pathways to keeping our family close to work at and look forward to. I'm excited about the possibility of new traditions, of knowing my children as adults, and of knowing that they got the strength to go and do these things from growing up under my wing.
Time for them to spread theirs.