This is currently my three old daughter’s favorite word. Most frequently I hear it at peak volume right beside my head around 5am. Not so much fun.
Surprising people is a past time I see more among the young. Our nineteen year old sailor girl is no different. She was due to arrive next Friday, and instead showed up on the doorstep a week early.
We are all delighted that she is here, but I think we were also shell shocked for the first twelve hours. We stumbled around trying to wrap our heads around the change in timing, mentally rearranging work schedules, and scrambling to assemble family and loved ones to see her.
When opportunity presents itself you must act quickly. Make the most of what you have while you have it. These moments come and go so quickly. We’ve recovered and gotten on with celebrating our time with her. It feels so good to have her home; to see her bright eyes and her smile in person. We’ve hugged her so much I’m afraid she may be suffering internal damage.
We so infrequently get to have everyone in one place anymore. When all the kids were still in school, before the scattering began, we hardly thought to get pictures of everyone together. Now, when the opportunity presents itself, you have to leap from your seat and take advantage.
Bryan’s three daughters had scooted in around him and when I saw them there like that, all laughing and happy, I knew this was one of those moments. I had one of those moments last summer when my son came home on leave.
The three oldest kids were all in one place for a minute – not much more. This was right as the girls graduated and headed out on their individual adventures. While my son is stationed just a day or so drive south of here – one daughter will be headed home from college in Minnesota soon, while the other prepares for her deployment to Africa next year.
I suppose when there are so many children – six among the blended family that we have created over our years of child rearing – it does become difficult to get them all in one place. I captured five of them in one place last December.
Including the oldest of the bunch in a group photo has consistently eluded me. I had an opportunity that I missed at Christmas. In what must have been some crazy cosmic alignment of the planets I had all six of these beautiful creatures under my roof for a short time on Christmas Day. The house was so full and we were having so much fun that somehow I just never thought to take a picture.
I hope it wasn’t the last time that will happen. As military life keeps some of them at opposite ends of the planet, and others have work and family obligations and begin sharing their time with close relationships and other families – I know that these opportunities will become more rare from now on.
As annoying as I may be with my camera sometimes – I know that I’ll cherish these photos forever.
I think someday they will, too.
That’s it for Silent Sunday, where I just can’t seem to shut up most weeks. I suppose if it were bothersome you wouldn’t be here, though. Cherish every moment with your precious loved ones – parents, children, partners, and friends. These moments – however mundane – they just never come again.
Thanks for listening. It means the world to me.