Our youngest dropped in for a few days, between his semester-in-six-weeks studying French in Aix-en-Provence and his semester-in-four+-months studying engineering in New Zealand. He came bearing some French goodies like local cheese and scented soap, and full of stories of his adventures in language. We hiked our local volcano, and by the wildlife-laden lake. We worked on visas and finances. We hosted a few of his friends. And we cheered in the alumni games as his class returned (40 of them!!) to RVA to touch base with each other and teachers and dorm parents after two years of dispersion. And then, all too soon (we had about 6 days of intersection) we took him to the airport once again.
Neither Scott nor I were ever youngest children, and there are unique joys to each birth order position. But three years ago it was just the three of us through Jack's senior year, and this visit was a bittersweet memory of that time. The phrase that comes to mind is God's voice over His own son, affirming the PLEASURE of watching someone you love mature, thrive, speak wisely, strive passionately, hug warmly, laugh freely, run fast, and live thoughtfully. Visits are a glimpse of a life that was, and will be. A sip of a delicious unity. A treat of joy in presence. As much as we would like them to go on and on, we acknowledge he's off to the life God is giving him and we TRY to remember to just gratefully accept the days we have.
So .. enjoy a few phone photos below, and pray for our faith as we trudge on with our empty nest, until the next visit. Nothing like being a parent to make one long for the no-more-tears of eternity. And if you're struggling with whining babies, wild toddlers, weepy teens or anything in between, take a deep breath. They're going to turn out amazing in spite of all of us, our foibles, our dragging them into wars and diseases and our own sin. Because this is not just our son, he's God's son, and we are all pleased as we see the glory shine through.