Saturday, June 14, 2014

Dear Maria, an introduction

This was originally written on June 7th. I have been having terrible trouble uploading pictures from my camera!

Today, Maria has left us for Catholic Familyland. I have written before about our vacations there. Well, this summer she is working there as a member of their service corp. Today, I put my baby on a plane and sent her to Ohio for TWO WHOLE MONTHS. And, I didn't even cry. Until I was in the parking lot and saw her plane flying away.

Okay, so it was probably not her actual plane. I have no way of knowing. Remember the good old days when you could walk your loved ones to the actual gate and watch their plane fly away? No, instead I had to leave her at the security check. Sigh. But, it *could have been* her plane, and that made her seem so far away all of a sudden. This feels big, you know? A big step. Not even a first step. See this picture?

This is from a post way back in 2008, when she actually left me for the first time, the first time she went somewhere besides her grandparents' house, the first time she had Entire Life Experiences that I was in no way a part of. And of course, there have been many more since then. But this is the biggest. So, I am nauseous, a bit, and will probably stay that way until I know she has been picked up at the airport and is with Trusted People. There she will stay until we take our own vacation at Familyland again in August,,,then she will come home with us.

So, this post is the first in a series I am going to do every week. See, Maria is really very close to her sibs. She is Second Mom around here...or as Jack calls her, Mom Junior. And they adore her. I know she was conflicted about missing a whole summer of their lives...VBS, Father's Day, fireworks, trips to the lake... And we have so much we want to share with her. But she will have no cell phone, no internet,,,she will get to call sometimes, but mostly we will communicate by writing snail mail. I thought a neat way to keep her informed of all the crazy around here as well as blog more often would be to make a weekly sort of journal entry, complete with pictures, print it all off, and mail it to her. Hopefully she will send us newsy letters *back* too.

So I will work on this entry nightly all week an post on the weekend. I also have a couple of birthday posts in the works. In the meantime, there's this bit of oddness. After I dropped Maria off at the security gate, I wandered around the airport, getting a scone and coffee, finding a bathroom, texting back and forth with Maria as she found her gate and such...I was reluctant to leave until she was boarded. While wandering I found the chapel.

This is it, I guess. A bench? I thought I'd see a generic nondenominational deal like they have in the hospitals, but this was all I found, a bench and some funeral flowers. There were several locked doors, maybe they opened up to something else? Anyway, across from these benches were several bookshelves, all at kind of right angles with each other. There were various religious books and bibles, and something struck me as so weird, I couldn't help taking a few's what I found...

Two protestant Bibles, actually, there was one on a small table by the door. This was very expected...this is Tulsa airport, right in the Bible belt.

One Catholic Bible.

Two Books of Mormon. Book of Mormons? Mormii?

A Talmud, in Hebrew, and what looks like the equivalent of our missals...I don't know what Jews call these...they look like daily prayer books

Two AA books..

Some kind of Tibetan prayer book...this actually looked the most interesting to me, because it was both unfamiliar and yet still in English!

And EIGHT Korans, all in Arabic! Wow!

Complete with prayer rugs!

Aaaanyway,,,if you are a Muslim traveling through Tulsa, Oklahoma, looking for a place to read the Koran, in Arabic,,,,airport got you covered. prayer rug and all.

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