Countdown to an Empty House


Two days.

Mei Guo leaves in two days for her three-month culinary internship in Italy. In my head, the listing has begun in earnest:

  • Will she remember her computer cables and charger?
  • Does she have enough allergy medicine? (Please, Lord, let her not need it.)
  • Is she set up with the Skype contacts that she will need?
  • Does she need money in her Skype account?
  • What am I forgetting to remind her of?
  • Will she even know how to greet someone in Italian when she arrives?
  • Does she have her itinerary and her address in Italy printed off so she can get where she needs to go?

I know she’s capable of international travel. She’s done it plenty in the past, but the mothering instinct is still strong. I’m reminding myself often, that worry is not prayer, and taking my worries to Heavenly Father. Nevertheless, 5 a.m. rolls around, finding me freshly awake and making lists in my head.

Two days.

Arctic Boy graduates from high school in two days. My youngest child is moving into the adult phase of his life. Wow. Do I feel old? Not old enough to have all my children through with high school. Next week he begins working full-time at his internship. I don’t know exactly what an engineering intern does at ATL, but it certainly pays better than fast food, which means he will be able to pay most of his college expenses in the fall. Happiness. Also, it will help keep him from rattling around this empty house all day.

Seven days.

Casi goes back to Germany in just one week. Will I ever see her again? I hope so. I am adding “visit Casi in Germany” to my bucket list. She will be going back to a big set of adjustments of her own. I wonder how many of her things we will find here after she leaves? She’s enough like Hermana Miss Sassy, that I think there will be some things she will need shipped back to her a couple of weeks after she arrives back home in Germany.

I also wonder what she will take back with her from her stay with us these past nine months. What will mean the most to her? Will her parents and grandparents think that those things are important and want her to keep them? I know that here, in our family, she has been as strong and adamant as any of my other kids have ever been about making sure we have Family Home Evening. She especially likes to make sure we have an activity, like a game, and treats as well. Will she take FHE back with her? Will her family think it’s a hassle?

Another thing she has been interested in is doing family history. She has helped to index old records while she’s been here, so that other people can learn their family history, but when she’s tried to find her own information online, she’s had trouble finding information. Will she still be interested enough when she gets home to find her family records and put them online? Will she be willing to ask for help to do that? Life is busy for a sixteen-year-old girl, so I can’t help but wonder. Still, I’ve never met a person her age who feels so strongly about having a family and the importance of them in society and life. Again I remind myself, worry is not prayer. So I will pray for her, and for us here, who will miss her so, so much.

I do not know what this day will hold, but it’s beautiful outside and I plan to enjoy it. We must make the most of the time we are given. “The kids” are planning to spend the afternoon at Seven Peaks Water Park, which, if you are here in the summer, is a must-do experience. I’m so glad the weather warmed up and is cooperating for them to go.

It’s hot outside! Go play in the water!


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