Holidays far from children and family have been the toughest thing about living in California. This year only our oldest son, Isaac, was able to schedule a flight to be with us over Thanksgiving. We met him at the airport yesterday, had lunch, walked the beach and felt so, so good about having our son with us. We delight in the independence of our adult children. We don't want them on a leash, but we do miss seeing, hugging, and touching them.
After dinner last night, Isaac and I took a long, meandering walk through the deserted Westmont campus, talking about the random stuff a dad and son talk about. When we got home, he suggested we watch a movie he brought along. So we settled in for a full-length movie while Martha worked in the kitchen with Thanksgiving prepration.
About 9:30, with Martha now in bed, my phone rang. It was Luke in Euegen, calling to thank us for his birthday gift that just arrived. He asked if Isaac arrived yet and if he could talk with his brother. They talked for a while and then Isaac gave me back his phone, so he could go make a call (I think to a woman). When phone calls were done, we were about to go back to the movie when Isaac said "Dad, could we go outside and talk? There's something I need to tell you." That sounded ominous. Maybe an upcoming engagement, job change, lifestyle choice or mistake?!!? Who knows with a statement like that? We walked out into the patio and he said, I need to show you something out in the driveway. Driveway? What would be in the driveway?
I opened the gate, and there, standing together in the dark were Luke and Liz, our other son and daughter. Luke drove down from Oregon all day and picked up Liz at the airport. The three of them had conspired secretly to surprise us. But Martha still was in the dark, literally. So Isaac went into the bedroom where Martha was tucked in reading and began some small-talk. Motioning to the sliding patio door, Luke's and Liz's faces filled the door and Martha let out a squeal! What a reuinion of hugging, laughing and joy.
We all stayed up late, visiting, eating, and finishing the movie together (the guys). Now in the early morning, the kids are sleeping in and I'm feeling as full as a dad can feel with all of his "devious children" at home for the weekend.