Just a short month ago we arrived back to US soil for some quality family time and to get new passports.
The whole idea at the time of our arrival was “mom, go slow, be the last one, I have to get from school to the airport to pick you two up with all your luggage. It’s M’s last day of school and I need to finish up there first.”
The other two older grandchildren were still in school at that time, in fact, they had school until the 21st of June. Nope, they couldn’t make it either. Or so we thought. Surprise !
The sixth grandchildren is just shy of 2 and lives out of state. We assumed that she wouldn’t be there either as she can’t travel by herself. Surprise #2.
Well, you can see from the attached picture if you count correctly, that there are indeed 6 very excited grandchildren (well, maybe 5 excited and one who clung to daddy) who greeted us as we came thru those ‘magic’ doors, leaving no-mans land behind. (Anyone being on either side of such doors understands the ‘feeling’ of those doors.)
We came thru the doors to the usual plethora of people and signs around the roped area. Initially we couldn’t begin to figure out ‘where’ the (three) grandchildren were in the midst of it all. Ah ! To my left I see jumping beans of hair flying, arms waving, hollering, all over the place SIX little ones trying to get our attention. How we could have missed that bundle of excitement first off must have been due to jet lag cloudiness of sorts. But that was soon dissipated as those kiddos gathered in to welcome us (with parents in the wings). Hugs and “I Love You” knows no boundaries. Skin to skin stuff, just what God ordered.
As was mentioned before, this had been the most difficult deployment ever of any of them. The grandkids were older. They were more vocal, more engaging, more involved in our lives than ever before. We had a deep relationship with them that knew no boundaries and yet was strained by the loss of their presence on a regular basis, except over the internet (not always cooperative) in our lives. The loss was more in the front lines in many ways in our minds.
As I said it’s been shy of a month since we departed Cambodia. We have spent hours of catchup time with each of the six now with their parents and can now settle in for a few months of usual as we await the return of our passports ~ new and spanking clean. It is also summertime here and the usual school restraints are not there for a bit, though it will come all too soon. In the meantime, we will enjoy the time given to us with each of them to strengthen that bond that God has put there for us to nurture.
Then we will do this another time one more time ~ something not to think about at the moment. No thanks!