He’s just about packed. One suitcase is full of clothes. One is full of all sorts of random supplies and gifts ranging from chocolate and freeze dried astronaut ice cream to a pair of overalls and a straw hat (that both fit him, mind you) and about 40 copies of If You Give a Mouse a Cookie. I wonder what airport security will think when that bag is scanned.
The family will pile into the minivan with those bags ever so slightly under the weight limit tomorrow at 7am. We’ll drive about 45 minutes to the airport where we’ll point out some big planes in the sky to the kids, talk about where they are heading, remind them all again where Daddy is going and why, and then we’ll say goodbye for 2 weeks.
Without even turning off the engine, we’ll hug and smile. I know I’ll tear up because that’s sorta my M.O. We’ll probably roll down the windows as we pull away so the kids can yell out one more goodbye to Daddy and all the other people entering that terminal at 8am. Then, we’ll go back the exact way we came, back to our day, to school, to goldfish crackers, to the playground, to our routine.
While Mark is there on the other side of the world, leading a team of 12 to a university, I’ll be in two places in one time. I’ll be home going to softball games, helping with homework, and eating ice cream (yes, I bought 5 containers of ice cream for our main food source just to start us out…), but I’ll be there too.
We may have met at a camp in Glen Spey, NY in August 1997 and declared our love for each other shortly thereafter. But, China? It’s where we fell in love again. It was there that we fell in love with a people and a place and each other and His call in our lives all over again. Some people’s second homes are at the shore; our second home is across the globe. We have our favorite restaurants complete with names we’ve made up to identify them since we cannot read or say their actual names. We have our favorite snacks and even specific clothes that always seem to go there with us. And, one day, who knows when, maybe we’ll travel there together at the same time again.
For now, it’s his turn. His turn to go work hard, love well, lead others to do the same, and play a lot of charades.