When I got home today I was greeted by all four of my kid in swimsuits, jumping on the trampoline and shooting each other with water guns. I don't know how long it's been since I saw that. It kind of made my heart melt a little.
Today was hot. Like 87 degrees hot. For Western Washington in May, that's almost unheard of. Actually it's almost unheard of for June through mid-July here. I guess it got all of us thinking about summer and what is to come. Seeing them all play together for the first time in a long time also got me thinking about how fast my world is changing.
In October of 2012 I sat down with my family to watch General Conference for our church. (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Mormons) General Conference is where our leaders from all over the world come to Salt Lake and hold a big meeting where many of them speak and give uplifting messages and council. This conference is broadcast all over the world and is absolutely my favorite Sunday of the year.
On that day, the man who we consider our prophet and the president of our church, Thomas S. Monson had an important announcement. He said that the missionary age for young men in our church was being changed from 19 to 18 and that the missionary age for young women was being changed from 21 to 19. I sat there stunned, with tears running down my cheeks. This announcement meant my son would be able to leave on his mission a year sooner.
I am so happy and proud that he wants to serve a mission. I am happy and proud that he wants to go as soon as he can, but ever since that day in October a clock has been ticking in my brain--eighteen months, seventeen months, sixteen months, and so on.
When I saw my little boy, my big seventeen year old little boy jumping on the trampoline in a swimsuit with his younger brothers and his sister I was again reminded of how many months we have left until my little family is no longer all living under the same roof.
It made me sad, but it also made me think about how often I let the little moments pass me by.
Later, when the kids decided to have dinner outside on the picnic table to enjoy the last bits of this beautiful day I sat with them, and I lingered. And I let myself forget about the messy house and the dishes and the laundry that needed to be done. I just enjoyed a moment with my kids and I hoped for many more.