The month of July on our calendar looked daunting. First a trip to my parents to welcome home Tom and Angie over the Fourth of July. Then on July 14-19 we went to the Ozarks with Brian's family for 5 days of hotter-than-hornets fun in the sun. And lastly a quick weekend trip to Orange City to attend the wedding of one of Brian's college roommates.
By the time the weekend trip to Orange City rolled around, I was burned out. I had trouble packing. I forgot stuff. I waited till the last minute to throw things in the suitcase. But we went. Brian got me a Mocha Frappe at McDonalds and that went a long ways toward improving my state of mind.
Saturday morning we woke up and Reagan and Maddie got some play time at the park across the street from Grandpa and Grandma's house. It was fun to spend some extra time with Mom and Derek who came with us to the park.
Then we headed off to the wedding. It was pretty surreal to meet up with so many of Brian's old college friends (my friends, too). We hadn't seen any of them in about 5 years. At that time, there weren't many children thrown in the mix. Now, in the 6 guys that lived together their junior year, there are 14 girls and 1 boy born to these Daddies. At the wedding, we had 9 girls!
There was something sweetly simple about just sitting down and catching up. It's at first an overwelming thought - how do you fill someone in on the last 5 years of your life when the last 5 years of your life have been filled with births of children? There's an added element of complication of course - all those little ones dashing about you as you try to talk.
But that's part of what made it so special.
Almost immediately the familiar banter began and some of the usual teasing came right back. It's ridiculous in a way, but that humor just warmed my heart and made me homesick for college life. I've missed these guys! You don't even realize it so much until you're with them and then you find you don't really want to leave. But the kids were tired, it was late, and it was just time to go back home.
As we were driving home on Sunday, we passed groups of people sitting in their front yards or alongside the highway. They were all waiting for someone or something, we didn't know what. Until we saw the signs: Welcome Home Troops. Women standing at the roadside holding up the American flag. Bikers parked on an overpass. Firetrucks parked along the highway. Police cars waiting to give an escort to the troops. And all those homemade signs along the way to Sioux City with their words of thanks and love. We couldn't have been far ahead of the troops. We never saw them. But it was enough to choke me up.
To say thanks. To say you love someone. To say you've missed them. The simple act of making an effort to reconnect with others is important. It's good. It's very very simple. And I have no doubt that it is indeed sacred.