Joshua left last Wednesday to go to North Carolina for a ten day vacation with his G-Dad. He will go from there to Austin, Texas for a week at swim camp before he returns home on July 3.
Solely due to Southwest Airlines' cheap flights, we decided to let him fly alone on these trips. I have to admit, I was a nervous wreck on Wednesday waiting for him to board his plan. Of course I acted like I wasn't nervous a bit, because I think Joshua was already anxious enough for the both of us.
He was so relieved, as was I, when the plane landed and he immediately saw his G-Dad. So relieved in fact, that he let his mind totally relax and forgot to get his luggage. Yep, not entirely sure how one forgets to go claim their baggage after exiting a plane, but he did. When he called me an hour later and was on the way back to the airport, he was really upset and feeling stupid. It was a little hard to contest that, but being his mom, I assured him that this is something that happens sometimes and he shouldn't worry about it. (I mean, I am sure that at some point in the history of flight, someone else has walked out of the airport sans luggage, right??? Maybe??)
Once they arrived in North Carolina, he forgot about the luggage incident and got excited about all of the things to do in Montreat. Eating ice cream at the Huckleberry, boulder bopping in the creek, and hanging out with cousins. However, the fun ended and the anxiety came back the next day as he jumped into the creek with his cell phone in his pocket. Goodbye phone. Normally I would count that as his loss, however, as he is traveling three more times on an airplane alone before I see him again, the phone is more important to me than just about anything else. I sent my phone in the mail to him the next day so that he can have it during travel.
Last night he called and asked if I packed his toothbrush. Now granted, that would have been an okay question, say maybe Thursday, Friday even. However he is on day five of his vacation and just now looking for his toothbrush. Ugh!! What do you do with that?
And then, just when I am feeling like this kid will never have any sense of order in his head, I get an email from one of Lowell's cousins detailing how great Joshua was this weekend with the kids. The cousin called him an angel and said, "if I could bottle his temperament and sell it, I would make millions. That kid's amazing and you should be so proud of him."
And then a lady at church tracked us down to tell us how much she appreciated Joshua's help at VBS. She said he always used good manners and was always willing to help her with whatever she needed, even though he wasn't assigned to her room. When the kids who were working with her were not helpful, she could find Joshua and know that he would smile, say "yes ma'am" and do whatever she asked of him.
And then I remember the little girl with Down Syndrome who Joshua completely fell in love with at VBS. We have worked with adults with disabilities his whole life and he has on many occasions expressed a fear that he will have a disabled child. He came to me with tears in his eyes after VBS and said that he knows that if God gives him a kid with a disability, it would bring joy to his life and that he is no longer scared of that.
And I know that this young man, with or without luggage, with a waterlogged cell phone, and with some nasty unbrushed teeth, is the best thing I've got going. And I know that he is absolutely remarkable just the way he is. And there is no way, even if I could, that I would ever change a thing!