Tonight at Upward practice, Robert asked the kids this question. "If you could go anywhere for one week, where would you go?" Now, I remember Dan asking the kids this same exact question back in 2012 when Jonah did Upward the first time. (I was sure I blogged about it but I can't find it!!) When Dan asked the question, he said the kids answered things like Hawaii, New York, Atlanta, the mountains, etc. Jonah piped up and said "Vidalia!" It was so sweet. We had only been away for 2 years at that point and he missed his friends so much!
Well, fast forward to tonight when that same question was asked. The kids answered the question with various places that offer sheer excitement. Jonah said "Louisiana!!" Again. We have been gone for over 5 years. But, when given the opportunity of going anywhere in the world for a whole week, he chose Louisiana.
During family devotion tonight, we asked him why he said Louisiana. He said "That's where my family is!" I said "Jonah, you don't have any family in Louisiana!" (Actually we do, but in another part of Louisiana and I knew he meant Vidalia!) He looked at me strangely and said "I don't? What about MeMaw & B or Zoo-Zoo? Or, Jimmy and Cathy? They all live there!" We went on to name Eli and his family, Mammy & Uncle Clare, Papaw & NeNE, Art & Vera, Beppa, Woy and Gwen, Marlie Hargon's family, Uncle Marty & Aunt Debra. "NOPE. None of them are our family." HE WAS SHOCKED!
How very precious is that? My little boy came into this world and was instantly swept into this tribe of people who are not related to us by blood but loved us just the same. They wept and screamed when they heard he was on the way. They prayed non-stop when an ultrasound showed an abnormality. They stood in the hospital and cheered with tears in their eyes when he arrived. They showed up to our house with food an advice after he was born. They cut watermelon and cantaloupe for me when that is all I wanted to eat for 3 solid weeks after he was born. They rocked him. They bounced him. They played ball with him. They watched movies with him. They helped him learn to walk. They taught him to say inappropriate things like "Geaux Tigers!" They took him to the park. They took him to the farm. They played in the snow with him. They had toys for him at their house. They had car seats in their car for him. They met me at the car to walk him to the nursery. They taught him to shoot a bow. They let him bang on their piano. They gave him bubble baths. They read him stories. They played in the floor with him.
They loved him. They still love him.
And, he is a better kid because of that love.
P.S. If you need me, I'll be researching flights to Louisiana.