But since I don’t have pictures (yet), I’m going to use a thousand words to paint a picture.
…of yesterday afternoon, an afternoon I don’t ever want to forget.
Before I had babies I would wonder at new mothers.
I wondered how they could ever let anyone else hold those babies. I was sure when some day I had my own I worried I’d be too greedy to ever let them leave my arms. Of course, once that blessed day finally arrived when I had my own baby I did indeed consent to let others hold him and oogle over him…and I survived just fine 🙂
It’s funny because my thoughts were along the same lines getting a missionary home. I thought I would be glued to him non-stop. And to be honest, that is what I want. But I was amazed at the airport yesterday that I was ok to share him a little. Ha!
I have no pictures to share yet. I didn’t have my memory card and let Grace’s friend and my sister-in-law be fully in control of the capturing. But my heart is so filled up with things it took in without my camera slung around my shoulder…how it felt to be waiting in that terminal, hands wringing and teary-eyed in anticipation. Checking over my shoulder for the girls and Dave, who were just as eager, Elle included who came in on the red-eye that morning (we didn’t know when they’d see each other if she didn’t come, and found an awesome flight deal). How Lucy slipped in and grabbed the first hug before I could get to him, and the exhilaration of joining in, then everyone else, and us all crying and laughing and joy floating in the air all around us. How jet-lagged he was (no sleep for I think 36 hours?) yet so happy, hugs and hugs and hugs some more. How the terminal was filled with aunts and uncles and cousins and I did share him, and even reveled in that sharing as he got to hug them all and be amazed at how they’ve grown. Then on to baggage claim, driving home, cheeks hurting from all the smiling and laughing, all there, whole and complete…
So much gratitude.
Dinner of our traditional chicken tikka masala at Max’s request, talking, talking, talking, deliberating about what to do for Lucy’s “New Beginnings” she was dying to attend since she will enter Young Women next year, splitting up for a little to make things happen, the Stake President arriving for the missionary “release,” our family room filled to the brim with a spirit you could cut through as Max shared his feelings about his mission, teary-eyed to let it go, but satisfied and solid and sure making us all follow suite with the tears. I got to be the one to take off that tag, and there he was: a returned missionary, wanting to do the dishes, delight in his sisters, make friends with Bo, and carry on beautiful conversations about life and the mission and all the things he’s learned as we all just stared at him and couldn’t believe he is actually HERE.
But fully God’s too. As we all are if we stop long enough to remember.
It is true what everyone told me about how amazing it is to get a missionary home.
But even better.