Well, Mark is now in Spain! The only reason I know that for sure is that we checked his flight to make sure it had arrived there and it had. I have no way to communicate with him, though, so I don't have any idea exactly where he is or what he is doing. But I bet he is TIRED!
I hope he will send me a Facebook message soon since he doesn't have a phone. We decided that we would communicate through FB and skype. But he has to find some internet access before he can do either of those things. I can already tell this is going to be really hard on me. I don't like feeling disconnected.
Thursday night we had a little cookout at our house and invited the grandparents over to say goodbye.
They were very sweet and gave him some good books to read and his favorite candy (Sour Patch Kids and Sour Skittles) and my mom typed up a Bible verse for him to read every week he was there. The first one was Psalm 121:7-"The Lord will keep you from all harm. He will watch over your life."
That would be my prayer for him as he is traveling.
Yesterday went well. Steve has been so great getting everything ready and making sure Mark had everything he needed. I had to go to a workshop all morning, but my mind definitely wasn't there. I was so antsy to get finished and get to the airport so I could hug Mark and talk to him before he left.
He was a little nervous, but really excited. All the other students began to arrive and soon it was time to say our goodbyes. I think I would be the happiest girl in the world if I never had to say goodbye to one of my kids again. Uuuuuggghhhh!! I HATE doing that! It is so funny how you can be so excited for them, but at the same time feel like your heart is breaking! Anyway...I made it through with a few tears and the last thing I saw was him standing in the security line.
Then we were off to lunch at Panera with Ashley. It was an absolutely gorgeous day yesterday, so that made me feel better. I know I am super mushy when it comes to my kids, but once we got home I saw all of Marks stuff lying around that he left here and it made me sad again. Seriously....I need to get a grip. It's not like he died or anything! haha
Goodness...being a mom is just hard. I am so ready for things to settle down at our house for a while. Steve and I were thinking yesterday about how many life changes we have had in one year. Have you ever seen that test where you add up your stress points for each life event? I'm not sure what I would score on that, but I think it would be pretty high.
*TWO of our children left home for the first time to go to college
*Ashley got married
*I got displaced from my job
*Ashley got pregnant
*I started a new job at a new school
*Mark left to go to Europe for 3 months
When you have four kids all the same age, every stage they go through seems intense because there are so many of them going through the same thing at once. Right now it is all of them pulling away and transitioning into being on their own and starting their own lives. So that involves lots of goodbyes and just praying for God to be with them and protect and direct them.
But I can tell you, it is EXHAUSTING.
Thank you for praying for Mark. I will be so happy when I hear from him. I will let you know how he is doing soon!
PS-It is 9/11. I have been thinking about that morning nine years ago when I was teaching a class full of second graders. I remember it was a beautiful day. I took the class to art and as I walked back through the library, I saw a group of teachers huddled around a tv. I asked what was wrong and they said a plane had flown into one of the Twin Towers. I thought that was awful, but I figured it was just some kind of freak accident. I went back to my classroom and turned on my TV. I had the Today Show on with Matt Lauer and Katie Couric. They were covering the story and talking about everything when all of a sudden, another plane flew into the second tower! I couldn't believe my eyes. I thought "Did that just happen again?? What is going on?" At that moment, it began to sink in that America was under attack. Soon after, the Pentagon was hit. There was so much fear and confusion. Parents began rushing to school to pick their children up. I remember seeing so many American flags flying on my way home that day and feeling very patriotic and sad that anyone would do that to our country. What a scary time. I will never forget it.