Our oldest son Jon spent a couple of months at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri as part of his Marine training. Excitement was in the air in anticipation for his arrival home! Our kids are very, VERY crafty. At any given time in our house, there are colored pencils, glue guns, scissors and tiny pieces of paper littering the tables and floor space… so naturally they decided to make welcome home signs to bring to the airport.
Evette making signs for Jon
We also thought it was a great time to ask the kids some questions about their thoughts and feelings leading up to Jon getting off the plane. The kids were so excited to all be together again! Jon has always been an incredible big brother. He has endless patience and loves spending time with his siblings. The kids all seemed to express that although they couldn’t wait to see him again, they were already dreading having him leave… Reality was finally sinking in, and this had become our new “normal”.
Elijah doing his Interview for Part 1 of Jon’s Homecoming film
The day seemed to go by really slowly, but the time had finally come to go to the airport and surprise Jon! He wasn’t expecting all of us to show up. We had this great plan, that we were going to make a big deal and surprise him with the signs we had made and lots of cheering! When we got to the airport, we watched the monitors, waiting patiently for the status of his flight to change and say “landed”. Well…. apparently they didn’t change it in time and Jon came walking toward us before we could even realize it.
Jon is HERE!
Everyone hugged Jon and overwhelmed him with lots of chatter. We all headed down the escalator to grab Jon’s luggage. We are a pretty big group, and not typically very quiet! We drew a lot of attention as we waited at baggage claim… What a proud mama moment I had when so many people realized Jon was a Marine home on leave. They stopped him, looked him in the eye and told him a genuine “Thank you for serving”. I even had a veteran come up to me with tears in his eyes and say “Thank you for raising a hero”. Wow. What a powerful statement for a mother to hear. I watched ALL of my children gathered around my oldest son with his green Sea-bag thrown over his shoulder, I realized my baby boy was a man. And I couldn’t possibly be any more proud of him than I was at that moment.
Gabe filling Jon in on everything he has missed over the last few months