Today was super kids day at "the" Elementary School. It is a field day full of outdoor games, a few in the gym, and lots of smiles and laughter. The older kids in the school (fourth and fifth grades) run the games while teachers oversee the areas and parent volunteers fill in where needed. The kids from all grades then have a partner from their class that they get to stick with to experience all that this day has to offer. Avagrace was not able to participate unless I was there, for obvious safety reasons. I had a babysitter scheduled who had to cancel. My favorite day-time back up is in labor (come on Maddie we can't wait to see your precious face and sweet baby nose and feet), and so I began to think about people whom I really trusted and cared for but don't often think of as babysitters. I immediately thought of a friend of mine who became very near and dear to me over my husbands last deployment. She is a friend from the chapel who has an fifth grade daughter. My kids just love the whole family, but especially my tender heart Violet. Violet could just sit in this friend of mines lap for hours, soaking in the gentle hugs that she gives. She is one of those women that can heal a soul with a simple 5 second back rub.
For a long time I have been wanting to invite this family over for dinner but have never found or made the time. Unfortunately, they are retiring from the Air Force and will be moving to Alabama in just a few short days. It turned out that when I called "Laura" she was in need of a laundry machine since her house had been packed up the day before. They were down to no furniture and only a few changes of clothes. For you military members out there, you know the deal. Sleeping on the floor before your final out. So she brought her laundry and watched my littles while I paraded around super kids day with Avagrace.
It was a lovely, energy filled morning. I am embarrassed to say that it wore me out! (although this could have something to do with the four hours of sleep each night for the past week, and maybe some part related to the no breakfast habit I have found myself in, but whatever) It also wore Avagrace out. With her two medicine cocktail's right now, being worn out was the last thing she needed. However, she had a blast and was so excited to be there that the first thing she said to her teacher was "Look Mrs. B, I am here today, I get to play too!" This made everything involved so much more worth it!
When we got back from the program at Avagrace's school "Laura" was doing her laundry and loving on Violet and Breya. Liam was sleeping peacefully. The fence had been fixed by housing and "Laura's Husband" was unloading some beautiful house plants as a gift to me. They had decided that the plants would not make the cross-country commute in their already full van and so they were blessing me with some lovely foliage for my home! It was bitter sweet. I was so incredibly thankful. I love houseplants. They are plants and they don't have the bug requirement that outdoor plants do! PERFECTO! However, I knew that soon these plants along with some found memories would be all I had left of the relationship that I pray will continue through emails, letters, and perhaps the occasional phone call although if anyone knows me they know how I detest talking on the phone.
I was even happier to have them in my home that day because I had made my "famous" chicken salad the night before and was able to make them a lunchtime meal. While it wasn't the family dinner I had hoped for I was ever so grateful that God had given me the time with them today that he had. For friends are here for a season, a situation, or a lifetime. In the military we know that all too well.
A send-off I am thankful for, sweet, simple, intimate, and yet these send off's never get easier. As this is the first of many this summer I am looking forward to seeing who God will bring to live in their houses and to hear how God is using them in their new locations as well.
One send off down, approximately 8 more to go....this is a big PCS year for our friends.