In November of 2012, Parker came home from serving a mission in Florida. I can't even begin to describe the complete JOY (there is no other word for it) a parent (yes, even a "step-parent") feels when their child, or man child as was Parker's case, comes home after being away for 2 whole years. And Parker's mission was the absolute longest mission ever. He was gone FOR.EV.ER.
Maddy's friend,Jedidiah Thunell, was there to capture Parker's arrival at the airport, and then made this awesome video to help us remember that day. Incredible talent- that boy will have an Academy Award someday.
This past August, Maddy left to serve a mission in Denmark. We knew from our experience with Parker that the curbside drop off is rushed and hurried, and I thought we were prepared this time around- experienced, seasoned missionary parents. We pulled up to the curb, and saw one of her friends from high school (I knew immediately that her familiar face was a gift), and in the whirlwind of exchanging hugs, grabbing luggage, and trying to get a picture- I noticed that Jack was still in the car, and Maddy's Host Missionary was anxious to take her away, and Jack was crying ... and it was total and complete chaos. CHAOS. And this is what our family looked like dropping off Maddy at the MTC, while I barked out commands to "hurry and get in the picture", and all of us on the verge of tears.
And just like that, we have arrived at the point in our family where our front door is revolving, and our big kids are big, and the little ones are getting bigger, and they come and they go. On missions, to college, and down the street to play at a friends house.
As A.A. Milne said - thanks for happening to pass me.