day 194: freckle-face

Four weeks from today boy #2 will be giving an address in church before leaving us for the people of Mexico, where he will live for 22 months, following a two-month stint up the road in Provo at the Missionary Training Center. 

I will be sitting out in the congregation with sons 1, 3, and 4 surrounding me.  I will squeeze #1's hand and he will put his arm around me, like he always does.  I will look up at my bishop-husband and he will be teary-eyed,  but I will feel comforted and good about everything.  

My parents will be here from VA to say their goodbyes, and hellos to #1 who returned home in December.  We will have people over for food and pleasantries and we will celebrate our son's decision to forget himself and go forth and serve.  It will be a grand occasion, and I will be exhausted by the end of the day.  

 I can see it so clearly in my memory.  We live in a little apartment in Pasadena, California.  I pull up the blankets to his little freckly chin and ask him Who loves you?  How do you know?  Testing myself as much as I was testing him, to see if I was outward enough with my love toward my little redhead during the day.  He would answer You.  Because you give me food.  Because you tell me.  

That would do.



wendy | February 28, 2010 at 8:15 PM

Those 4 weeks will go so fast. I had 3 sons serve missions. Always wonderful....and never gets easier.

and who can't love a "freckle-face"

gigi | February 28, 2010 at 8:46 PM

I was just in Birmingham Alabama last weekend attending my nephew's last weekend at home. He spoke in Sacrament metting an then was set apart and went straight to the air port heading for Utah. This past Wednesday he entered the MTC heading to serve in the Guadalajara Mexico East mission. Will that be where your son will be serving? If so his name is Elder Alex Ripley. I hope that they can meet. Good luck to your son and what a blessing this is for your family :)
Many blessings.

Kazzy | February 28, 2010 at 8:59 PM

I love freckles, Wendy!

Gigi- He is going to Monterrey East. :)

Charlotte | February 28, 2010 at 9:03 PM

My oldest son turns 12 this summer and that rite of passage is overwhelming enough to me. Congrats on the mission call, I hope you enjoy your last few weeks together!

Stacy | February 28, 2010 at 9:22 PM

Kazzy, you just left me in tears. I can't imagine my little toddler boy (who is currently dismantling my wallet card by car,) old enough to do that. Thanks for the (hopeful) look into my future!

Robin | February 28, 2010 at 9:34 PM

It seems like just yesterday he and Jessica were performing their play, Peter Pan and the Spider Lady, in the back yard. I think he played a dwarf, of course.

Can it really be so long ago?

Connie | February 28, 2010 at 10:01 PM

Adam's a crack-up! You're going to miss that freckle-face, I know I missed mine when they went. But you're right about forgetting themselves and wanting to serve others. He's growing up!

Dona | February 28, 2010 at 10:08 PM

I always wanted a red head. Lucky.
They say they are becoming more and more rare. Yours will stand out in Mexico in more ways than one.

Barbaloot | March 1, 2010 at 9:24 AM

Watching my brother's leave for missions was always hard-but in my mom's words, "The only thing worse would be having them not go."

Dedee | March 1, 2010 at 9:47 AM

Wow. Suddenly I'm perfectly content for time to stand still for a while.

amber_mtmc | March 2, 2010 at 12:35 AM

I can't believe my little guy will one day be a missionary. The time just flies, doesn't it?

UTMomof4 | March 2, 2010 at 4:26 PM

Great post. He will be a great missionary, I like hearing him bear his testimony is sacrament meeting. In 16 years my red-head will be old enough to go. I hope those years don't fly by too fast for me.