Last Tuesday we said our final goodbyes to India and York as they head off to be missionaries in São Paulo, Brazil. It’s been surreal. Super surreal. I’ve felt like I need to spend every second with them even though they would much rather hang out with friends, not their lame parents. Eventually they just wanted to go and stop thinking about it anymore. We managed to pack everything for two years into two suitcases and carry-ons and then it was time for goodbyes. You’d think I would have been all weepy but I was ready for it to be happening too. Also, I’m hard-hearted and almost never cry.
My Mom came down to visit the kids before they left.
And so did Mister’s parents.
Of course York will miss his great friends:
India will miss this guy most of all. Her boyfriend Ethan has been a frequent fixture at our house. I don’t know if I ever mentioned that he was baptized last year. He has decided to serve a mission too and will be going to Las Vegas next month. He’s such a great person and we’ve been thrilled that he’s been such a support for India.
York said his truest goodbyes to his best friend, the stupid dog Margaret.
The kids had to travel down to the Missionary Training Center in Brazil in full missionary attire. York wore the tie that Mister had worn on his mission, that his grandfather had worn too.
Finally it was off to the airport. We barely squeaked by on weight allowances for luggage. (This is pretty much what India always looks like when her brother is around. He can be a bit annoying to the family members.)
And then they were off through security. My first two babies. The ones who made me a mother. So many memories came flooding back: how India used to spend hours playing with toy animals and how York would haul the vacuum attachments around in a plastic shopping cart. How can they be old enough to go off and live in a semi-scary third-world country? In case you aren’t familiar with Mormon missions, they have to pay for their way down in Brazil and there won’t be any visits allowed home. We (and all relatives) won’t allowed to visit either. There are phone calls/skype allowed only twice a year on Christmas and Mother’s Day. The rest of the time it’s emails and snail mail. And they only are allowed one day a week to do that. It’s a big sacrifice but both India and York felt strongly that this is the right thing for them to do. It requires hard work and sacrifice but it will mold them into strong and powerful people with a great love for the Savior (I hope!).
I took this picture then turned around and burst into tears (guess there’s a softy in me somewhere). Mister and I cried all the way out to the parking garage then sat in the car and sobbed. It took us a good fifteen minutes to get it together enough to drive.
Rumor has it that the time will fly by for our missionaries (but it crawls by for the parents. They’ve only been gone for one week but I swear it feels like they’ve been gone for a month!). They will be learning full-immersion Portuguese for six weeks and then they’ll go out to their respective missions: Interlagos and São Paulo South. I can hardly wait to hear all about Brazil!
If you want to keep up with the kids, they have missionary blogs where I’ll be putting up all their letters and photos. India’s is at–wait for this complicated address– India in Brazil.com and York’s is at York in Brazil.com.