All week we'd been checking the mail--sometimes multiple times because we weren't exactly sure what time our mail was delivered (when have we much cared?).
Saturday when we checked, IT was there.
The big white envelope we'd been waiting for.
Braeden started shaking, he was so excited and nervous. He stashed the envelope way up high on the top of the kitchen cupboards where no one could reach it (I don't know why). He started texting his friends to see when they could come over to watch him open it. His fingers couldn't function and he was sort of a whirling dervish. Finally Adam sat him down and spoke to him in the calm firm tones he usually reserves for me when I am in freak out mode. Adam made him breathe for a few minutes then he took an assessment of who had been contacted and who had not. Then we set about contacting people.
Adam for the win. He is always the cooler head that prevails.
When Braeden had contacted the people he needed to, he had way more nervous energy than he knew what to do with so he went to the temple, which is luckily very close. He came back home with a smile on his face.
At 7:00, our bishop and his wife, Ammon and Melanee and family and a few friends started arriving. A few more were on their way. They slowly trickled in and one friend finally texted he was 7 minutes away. I think Braeden's friend Brian could sense that my patience was waning. He asked me, as his second mother, whether or not we could wait for Nate.
That kid is manipulative!
But I said, yes, of course.
I learned my lesson from when Clarissa opened her call and I stayed out of the picture. The only words he tripped over when reading it was the part about him teaching in English. He was reading ahead because he was really desperately hoping he would be teaching in English.
I felt immediate peace about the Virginia Chesapeake mission. It feels just perfect. Braeden is thrilled. He has looked at maps and read a lot. He is really hoping he can go to the Great Dismal Swamp and Kill Devil Hills in North Carolina. The names have captured his imagination.
As for me, I've realized something. I am not sad he's going. Not a teeny tiny bit. He makes me feel grateful and proud and happy with his decision to serve.
What does break my heart is that we are at this point. He's eighteen and ready to fly from the nest.
I'm not ready to be done with him.
Also, I have a LOT to do before September 2 to get that kid ready!