I had a date with Alec. I had it all scheduled with the older school boys that they were to watch the small fry and get their chores done independently while Alec and I went off to do some shopping. We were going to get the things he needed for his mission.
There is quite a list of things. Things. Alec needs to take with him. Things you take for granted until you have to pack for a two-year trip and you can only take two suitcases and a carry-on bag. And all those Things have to last and fit and work without failing.
A suit, of course. Belts and ties and 10-14 pairs of socks. I think I might own 3 or 4 pair, but I'm not a sock person. Or a shoe person. But I digress. Lots of white shirts and a bunch of dress pants and waterproof winter boots and a good coat with a zip-out liner and sturdy walking shoes and towels and a sewing kit and gloves and an umbrella. I might have missed a few things.
So we sat down to plan our strategy, Alec and I. I had recently chatted with a Very Smart Mother who is our neighbor (we are so lucky!) and has a son who just got home from a mission and another son who is currently serving. She gave me some recommendations on stores to go to and brands that were sturdy and stores we might want to skip. I relayed these comments to Alec, and we headed to the computer to do a preliminary comparison of prices, just so we would know what we were getting into.
We opened lots of tabs on our browser, comparing back and forth... and then we found a sale. A sale with white shirts marked more than half off. A sale with buy-one-get-one-free. A sale with free shipping. And before I knew it, the mother-son bonding trip I had so been looking forward to had turned into me looking over his shoulder as he clicked scrolled and added things to his shopping cart. Mostly, he shopped and I fielded all the normal random questions and concerns from the rest of the children. Not a shopping trip. Not one-on-one. Not bonding.
Sigh. But really, what is the important thing? That we are getting the things that he needs. And that I love him. And he loves me back. So proud of this boy. So proud of the man is is growing into. I'll love him forever (even if he doesn't want me to sometimes).