Saturday, November 14, 2015

A Visit With Nathan

 A week ago we were visiting with Nathan!  Bob took Friday off from work, so we were able to get there in the afternoon.  It was so great to see him (and his bag of laundry)!  We were all milling around outside his dorm, waiting for him to sign out and come down, when 3 upperclass cadets came out the door.  One saw us and came over to ask us if we were Nathan's family.  Haha--I wonder how on earth he guessed?  It turned out to be Nathan's first sergeant.

We went back to the hotel, and it was so nice just to relax with ALL of us.  Bob took the little kids swimming, and the rest of us just caught up.  Nathan is doing great in all areas, which is wonderful news.  It is especially heartening for me to hear that he is doing really well academically, since, well, that was what I spent the last 18 years preparing him for.  Whew!

We talked about where to go out to eat, but a table for 12 in a college town on a Friday night seemed like a bridge too far, especially when the youngest ones were pretty crabby from the car ride and lots of snacks.  So Bob and I went to Little Caesar's and brought back 6 pizzas.  While we were waiting for them all to be ready, we were reminded again how different it is down there, compared to in Northern VA.  People were so friendly, chatting with us as we waited!  Way different.

 We of course had 2 hotel rooms.  The older 4 boys were in one, and the rest of us were in the other.  That meant the boys could really sleep in, although the little kids were pretty tired and slept fairly late as well.  After breakfast, more swimming, college football, and leftover pizza for lunch, our big outing was to a rugby game.  It was raining at this point, but everyone was still game to watch.  Verity had fallen asleep in the van, so I stayed with her while everyone braved the damp and cold--for awhile anyway.  Kids kept drifting back to the van, and then back out to the sidelines.  Fortunately it stopped raining at halftime, and Verity woke up, so we could all go out to watch.  The was another man there, and he was letting his 2 kids just splash around in these huge big puddles.  They were maybe a little younger than Micah and Drew, who were eyeing them *very* enviously.  The kids were absolutely sopping wet, and I made sure Micah and Drew stayed far away, since we didn't have a ton of extra clothes--plus it was freezing!
 Once again, Saturday evening we knew we'd be in trouble if we had to wait in a crowded place for a table, so we chose the path of least resistance and went to the nearest Chick-Fil-A.
 I'm not sure why Micah is flashing a gang sign here, because he actually loves Chick-Fil-A, lol. It was good for the kids to have the playground to run around in, especially with all the rain.

Sunday we got up and ate breakfast.  Bob took the younger kids swimming again so I could get the room packed up.  We had the best of intentions of getting to Nathan's church early, but . . . yeah.  As so often happens here at home, it was like herding cats (with luggage) to get everyone out the door, so we were late.  I know--shocking surprise!  Sigh.  We talked about how easy it will be when Bob and I go to visit Verity at college . . . of course, she also won't have the cheering crowd greeting her!
 After church we ate at a little Chinese restaurant before heading back to campus.  We got to see Nathan's (incredibly crowded) room, and then we walked around some with him.  Everyone agreed it is a beautiful campus, and Anna is ready to go there herself!
 It was really good for Micah, Drew, and Verity to see Nathan again.  On Thursday before we left, Micah said, "We're going to pick up Nathan and bring him back home to live with us?"  Nooo . . . I think it was good for Micah to actually see Nathan's room, and that he is really *living* there.  Everyone really misses their oldest brother!  I also think maybe it wasn't bad that it worked out for this to be the first weekend we could get down there.  Nathan's settled in now, and so it wasn't anywhere near as hard to say goodbye as it was when we left him in August, and he was not looking forward at all to going back! As he said in a letter to the girls, "Each day is a little better than the one before."  
We were able to get a picture with ALL the kids before we left, which made me really happy!  I can't take those for granted anymore.  And now we look forward to having Nathan home for Thanksgiving in a week!  Hooray!

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