So he came home! He called from Atlanta, using the phone "of a nice brother from Kansas." Kid has never met a stranger.
Then he called again, from a Twin Falls, ID number. The flight was delayed. By three hours. He met a woman in the airport and gave her a Book of Mormon and got her contact information so he could have the missionaries visit her. She lives in Florida. (Not Leif's part of Florida though.)
Finally, finally, it was time to go to the airport. I was a fidgety, fluttery mess. We stood at the bottom of the escalator and watched people descend. First their feet, then their legs, then finally we could see who they were. I was standing next to Emma and Mark and every time we'd see black shoes and then black pants we'd get a little excited, but we'd usually decide pretty quickly the legs were either not long enough or not skinny enough--or too skinny.
It was a little bit tortuous.
Adam was on the other side of the walkway. He had a better vantage point for the escalator but I opted for the side that was closest.
Because I wanted that first hug.
And I got it!
Let the ugly cry ensue.
Mark was shorter than Emma when Braeden left so that took a little while for Braeden to wrap his mind around.
We stopped at Costa Vida for dinner (Braeden's choice). A lot of people greeted him. A missionary in Utah County is a somewhat rare sight.
We got home and read scriptures together. I was reading and then I started crying because we were all together. It's sort of amazing.
It's a strange land we're in. For one thing, Adam and I have never parented up close a twenty year old. We have never even parented a nineteen year old. I told Braeden we're used to him as a high school student so he needs to tell us if we forget he's been living on his own for 17 months. He's still a missionary but he also needs a lot of rest and a lot of sleep. I need to let him have his space and be his independent self and I also need to shove him off to bed if he is chatting with someone. The boy has dark circles under his eyes and stairs exhaust him.
It's possible I could be accused of hovering.
It's so nice to have him home. I love his laugh. I love the way he wraps his arms around me and pulls me to his chest for big hugs. I love the way he interacts with Mark and Emma. I love hearing Adam discuss scriptures with him.
I love having the gang back together.