I can almost hear Elton John singing in the background, can't you? Visions of Simba and Mufassa watching the sunset on the savannah...combined with the new sight of my hubby sitting on the couch patting our newborn while our son dons a uniform to go to work....wow.
What an odd weekend that was! Last weekend, we had four children at home, but this past Saturday, we finally had all SIX, and it really was a bit surreal. Pete and I had never imagined in our wildest dreams that we'd have a family this size, but we are just so thankful that we've been blessed with each and every one of them. Even with all their "issues". Sleepless nights (up with the newborns AND worrying about the teens), potty training, temper tantrums, colic, picky eaters, nitro-powered ADHD flurries of motion and endless activity, more temper tantrums, sibling squabbles, snotty noses, lost hairbows and stepped-on Lego blocks; I'll take all of it a hundred times over. I wouldn't trade this life for anything.
As "easy" as it was to transition into life with a newborn again, we never really saw this new phase of life coming as quickly as it did. We fully expected to have Jon still at home when this baby came into the world, but he (and the recruiter) had other plans. The "kid" we picked up from the airport on Saturday was no child. Our oldest is now a man, and that is, to say the least, a bit WEIRD. He stands taller, walks with a purpose, and has no time for laziness anymore. He can hold his own in real, adult conversations. He spent several hours discussing online banking, cell phone plans, and car insurance with his dad. Gone is the talk of doing something reckless for the sake of adrenaline rushes. This is a young man who understands how to savor life--not to mention a really good Reuben sandwich! Much different from the boy we saw walk away from us at the airport in Frankfurt two and a half months ago.
Pete had one of "those" moments yesterday too, so it wasn't just me ruminating the oddities of our new life with an adult child. After taking Jon to the barracks to sign in and get set up here, on his own and apart from the "home" he's known for the last eighteen years, Pete walked back in the front door noting how life had finally come full circle for us. You see, eighteen years and one month ago, a gangly Private First Class arrived in Huntsville to begin training here on Redstone Arsenal. A month later, his wife and four-month-old son moved up from Florida to be with him. Now Pete is an instructor at that same school, and the four-month-old baby? Well...take a look: