Sunday, August 19, 2012

Off to Russia He Goes.

I'm sure this picture has you wondering.  Let me explain.  Over 20 years ago...when I was just a wee girl there is a picture of me.  We were vacationing in Yellowstone with my mom's side of the family and one of the days found us on a canoe.  I actually can't even remember it I was so little.  Apparently it was cold & I was a complainer {shocker!}.  So I am sure in an effort to shut me up & keep me warm my mom or my aunt wrapped a scarf around my ears.  The scarf.  The Coke bottle glasses {remember?} & snaggle teeth were bad enough.  But we were also on a canoe & the wind was blowing & suddenly I looked like a little Russian immigrant crossing the turbulant seas to America.

The pictured has popped up to haunt me on numerous occasions.  One thing you should know about my family is we never forget.  Ever.  You do something stupid & we will be reminding you for 20 years.  So this picture has never gone away.  My wedding dinner?  Oh yes, let's use the 'Russian Immigrant' picture!  It has been immortalized & of course re-surfaced again, when Kevin got his mission call to serve guessed it, Russia.

What are the odds?

And so today, in an effort to bid farewell & good luck I offer an updated version of the 'Russian Immigrant.'  In just a few hours Kevin will begin his journey criss-crossing the globe to land in Russia for 2 years.

I am beyond excited for him, but wracked with nerves.  It just feels so far away & unfamiliar.  My mind wanders & I wonder where he will live.  Will it be clean?  Will he find food he likes?  Will he want to curl up in a ball and bawl?  That is something I would do.

His letters are full of excitement & anticipation & I'm sure that adrenaline will carry him for a bit, but then what?  I don't even know, because I've never done it.  But I assume it is somewhat like having a baby.  9 months of anticipation & excitement & then the baby is born.  You land in Russia.  Uncharted territory & the first 5 weeks are a dreamy breeze. You are tired, but still full of that new-baby adrenaline.  And then you wake up & wonder how the heck you got where you are.  Dazed by the responsibility ahead of you.  Asking who in the world ever trusted you to be in charge of this person?

I'm pretty sure he will have some of those moments.  I just wish I was there to hold his hand through it.  Isn't that what all mothers want to do?  Sit in the back of the kindergarten class & smile at their kids?  Give them the head nod of encouragement?  Be the security blanket for the rest of their lives?

We get to talk to him at the crack of dawn in the morning before he boards that first plane.  Say a little prayer for him?  And my mom, while you are at it. 

Sometimes the best things in life are also the hardest.

By the way, you should have seen the photoshopped composite picture we sent him to bid him farewell.  Just think, me, my mom & Lindsey all dressed in our best 'Russian' gear {what is that even?} & photographed in the blaring sun & then photoshopped into a winter wasteland...that may or may not be Russia.  Quite possibly the most fun I've had wasting the most time on the most useless 'farewell' package...that we had to rush him.  Are we dumb?  yes.  Do we crack ourselves up?  Also, yes. 

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