Let me say from the outset that I am so happy Phil got the chance to go to Harvard – it was such an honor for him and he’s always been a top-notch student (I’ve known him since 3rd grade).
This past Fall, he went to Harvard for eight weeks of intense study – examining over 200 case studies and listening to over a dozen special guest speakers. School days typically started at 8am and ended at 11pm, Monday – Saturday.
During those eight weeks, the kids and I managed to navigate commitments, appointments, homework and double bookings with lots of help from babysitters, friends and family.
However, there were still a few trouble spots that meant a special phone call – to settle a dispute, share a misery, ask for advice – when only Dad would do.
Three hours before Phil came home, all hell broke loose. Eight weeks of him being away – all the stress, and worry, and missing him – came to the surface and erupted. I sent us all to our rooms. Even me.
After 15 minutes, I had the kids come down for a quick family meeting to get everyone back on track. I guess even good changes require some processing. That’s something to remember.
Thankfully, we’re committed to working through these things together. I know every time we crash and then come together to heal, the life we live as a family gets better.
So, with a half an hour to spare, the boys went outside to play basketball and keep a lookout.
I started making supper.
Will and Emma went upstairs.
Finally, I heard the shouts from the driveway, “He’s home! Dad’s home!”.
I think we all felt the weight of his absence being lifted off our shoulders. Even Sonny was on his hind legs, trying to welcome Phil home and be part of the excitement.
I meant to capture all the hugging but I somehow spaced it in the happiness of seeing him home – except for this one with Emma in the garage.
Is there anything better than coming home at suppertime?
We sat down, Phil lead us in prayer, we ate.
And, just that quickly, it was like he had never left.