Melina left Thursday night with her grade eleven classmates on a thirty-five hour bus ride down to Mexico for a Missions Trip. Once down there, they will build two homes for two families who literally live in tents on dirt. I can only imagine what the experience will entail, both physically and spiritually.
I had dropped her off not really worried or anything and hung around for a little while before the bus arrived. We were poking fun at each other (as we tend to do) and I left with one real doozie. We both laughed and hugged but as I walked away, my brain (being the over thinking and over-dramatic organ that it is) starting thinking "good grief, if that was the last moment we ever shared together, is THAT how I want either of us to remember my last words???" I had already started driving off but turned around, ran back into the school and gave her a big hug.
"Mina... I couldn't leave on that note! I want you to know how much I love you and I'm proud to be your mom."
To which she so lovingly replied "Are you CRYING?"
I was surprised at the tears that did flow on the drive home and to be quite frank and honest, I was relieved. Sometimes, at this stage of their teenage life, it feels like we do nothing but bunt heads. It's about what chores have been avoided or left undone, what homework has not been handed in, what social event she wants to attend for a third time that week, etc... It's a more challenging time to stop and acknowledge all the wonderful things that ARE there... her beautiful smile, the fact that she's always ready with a song on her lips, that she can be level headed beyond her years (when she wants to) and many other attributes that really do make me proud to be her mom.
So the tears flowing on the drive home were a good affirmation that I DO love her more than whether or not she's avoided a chore or done it with a half-hearted effort. She is here, she is my daughter and I love her very, very much. At the end of the day, that's what's in my heart.
So prayers are forthcoming to you, Baby Girl. And may you be blessed on this Missions Trip beyond your wildest dreams. Looking forward to your safe return! Much love... Mom.