I asked Adam, "Do you think Brent and Stephanie will really need him back?"
It just feels right to have Gavin around. And it also feels really terrible that we separated Mark from Gavin two years ago. They have always been sort of like brothers. They saw each other nearly every day and were compatible like peanut butter and jelly.
Friday night we were at the airport and Mark stared intently at the crowds of disembarked passengers while we waited.
He erupted, "Gavin!" They hugged and Gavin and I hugged and then Mark and Gavin looked at each other and compared their heights. They smiled and laughed at each other. They stood shoulder to shoulder, waiting for Gavin's camo duffle bag on the luggage carousel, happy but a little tentative about what to say. Besides the one day they saw each other last summer, they haven't seen each other for two years.
"Is that it?" Mark asked, pointing to a paisley print suitcase.
"It's camo," Gavin said.
"He's color blind," I said, even though that shouldn't cause a paisley vs. camo confusion.
"Still," Gavin said. "It's camo, Mark."
"Sorry," Mark said with a smile. And they both relaxed and just started talking.
Gavin is laid back and polite and funny and it feels absolutely normal to have him here. I love hearing them tease each other and hearing their voices rise and fall in conversation. It's the sound of Mark's childhood except now they both have these deep voices.
I asked them if I could take their picture.
"Can you pose normally?" I asked.
"I'm not sure we're capable," said Gavin.
This one is probably as good as it's going to get.
Mark forgot that he was teaching a lesson on Sunday. After lunch on Saturday I told Mark we needed to look at the lesson. I figured I needed to be involved to keep him on task with Gavin here.
"I love teaching lessons," Gavin said.
"Gavin can help you," I said. (I've never once been shy about putting my kids' friends to work. Gavin's helped move a lot of furniture in his day.)
So they sat side by side and my heart melted as I heard Gavin instruct Mark. How did the kid I used to wrestle in primary become this mature and wise kid teaching Mark how to prepare a lesson? If Gavin says it, Mark listens. He is the big brother all of us have been missing around here.
I was looking over my blog and found this post about these boys from five years ago. The nostalgia!