This guy, my number one son, left today for 7 weeks. He'll be in Honduras. You can read about the program here and here. And, if you are a regular reader, you've already seen an update from Songbird's arrival in Ecuador with the same youth volunteer program (but in her case she's doing the job of supervisor, while kids Waffle's age are the volunteers).
I love this kid. He's got the greatest smile, a sense of humor that brings the house alive, and an openness and kind-heartedness that is...well...it's impressive. I'm excited to see this young man in 7 weeks; see him with THIS experience informing more of his "becoming." Transformative is the word I'm thinking will describe this experience for him. I can't wait for the stories and the pictures.
The sweetest parts of his departure were two-fold. First, Waffles and Blueberry had me in tears in the car as they made some iphone videos to watch during his absence. We learned this is a great trick for Blue's 'missings' - sibs and 'honorary sibs' (Schwartz from Finland and now Flower from Hungary) come and go a lot in this household, so we try to find ways for Blueberry to make sense of our revolving door, and to trust in the permanence of his siblings in his life. So, Waffles made the videos with Blueberry and they made me cry. I'm keeping them to ourselves - Blue gets them without outside eyes.
Then there was this discussion as Blue and I left the airport:
Blue: Where's Waffles Mommy?
Me: He went on the airplane to Honduras. Remember? We just kissed him bye-bye.
Blue: Noooooooooooo, I want to go too. I go on airplane to Honduras!
Me: I'm sorry Blue, you're going to Washington with Mommy and Daddy the next time you get on an airplane. Waffles is going to Honduras to work, just like Songbird went to Ecuador too.
Blue: What Waffles doin' in Honduras Mommy?
Me: He's going to live in the mountains and spend time with some kids and speak Spanish and help them with hard working.
Blue: Nooooooooooooooooo, I want to go Honduras too and speak Spanish!
Ohhhhhhhhhhhh nooooooooooo, my foot hurts! Ohhhhhhhhhh noooooooo, I need Waffles here right now to kiss my foot! Ohhhhhhhhh nooooooooooo, where my Waffles? I need my foot kissing NOW! Come back here Waffles!