Family Reunion

Our son comes home from college tomorrow. Our daughter just arrived at home after a Gap Semester in South America.

It is a great feeling to have everyone back together.

As a parent, there are many surprising joys. One is watching your older children evolve and make good decisions, think about the world and their role in it, and, perhaps, find a Mission in Life.

Our daughter’s travel involved service projects, trekking, home stays, language lessons, and some fun activities. She and 10 peers, and two trip leaders, traveled through two countries. At one point, they even attended a local wedding:

She said it was a rewarding trip but was arduous at times. Sounds great to me.

I have long encouraged my children to take time off before college. Get a minimum wage job. Do some “hard” travel in the Third World. I feel the time can be a great way for them to learn more about themselves and the world before they embark on another four years of structured learning.

Our daughter published blog posts to document her trip. Here’s what she wrote at the end:

“I have learned that money is finite and so easily abused, that a simpler life is often a happier life, and that the Western way of life is not the only way of life…. [The Gap Semester] has challenged me to grow as a person and think more about what kind of person I want to be. It has inspired me to consider career paths that will truly help the world.”

As a parent, those words are music to my ears.

Our daughter asked if her welcome-home dinner could be roast lamb. I think her diet was a bit lean for 10 weeks. So, here’s the menu for tonight, which is cooking now:

So, we’re having a family reunion tomorrow. And, I am giving thanks a bit early this week as we again gather together.

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