Y'all, We have had the best weekend.
This morning, we got up at dark-thirty, and headed south to Arkadelphia, Arkansas. It was Early Registration for Clark at OBU.
I cannot believe we are here at this point. My baby...our youngest child...if he has his way, will be heading to college in August.
And Marty will be on the floor in the fetal position.
But today, was for happy thoughts! We all piled in the car: Jim and I, Joshua, Holly and Aaron...and Clark. We had to leave our house at 6:30 in the morning. We drove 40 minutes, and drove thru a Chick-Fil-A for some breakfast. Joshua was a happy, happy camper!
And then we drove the rest of the way.
You know, when we registered Holly and Logan for college...the other siblings didn't come. It was just Jim and I. And it wasn't a big deal.
Now, it was all hands on deck on moving in day...and moving OUT day, and we went as a family. But on early registration day? No.
But nothing was gonna keep Holly away from going with us this morning. She was all kinds of excited and emotional.
She walked ahead of us with Clark and showed him where to go. Jim and I...Joshua and Aaron...we stayed at the back and let Clark go up to the registration table by himself. I mean, if he thinks he is big enough to go to college by himself, then he's big enough to register by himself.
Holly was appalled.
She said, "Well, if YOU aren't going up there with him, I will," and she marched herself right on up there and stood in line with Clark. I wasn't mad about it. I didn't want Clark standing up there all alone, even tho he was just fine.
The first person we saw was one of the head administration person. He shook Clark's hand and said, "do you know who your roommate is?" Clark said, "yes, sir," and proceeded to give him the name that was on his housing letter we had just gotten this week. The man said, "ummm...there's been a change. You are now rooming with my son." Clark was, like, "ooooookay...great."
I don't know if it's because of Clark's "bent," or because his medical conditions forced him to interact with adults at an early age...but he is very comfortable talking with anyone. Kids, teens, adults, people with challenges or special needs...doesn't seem to bother him. I am really thankful.
So the guy calls his son over and introduces him to Clark, and the two of them talk and talk and talk. And then they take off inside, and we don't really see them again until the thing is over. Clark said they got along GREAT, and he is so happy with the change of roommates. I am very thankful he is so flexible. He said, "I'm gonna be living with someone I don't know regardless...so, this guy is fine."
This whole morning was just amazing. How did we even get to this point? When I think about my difficult pregnancy with Clark...how he was born 12 1/2 weeks premature, and weighed a whopping 3 lbs 2 ounces...how he stayed in the NICU for over 7 weeks...how he was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 2...how he endured surgery and chemo...and how God brought him through it all. And now, here we were...registering this precious son for college. I am overwhelmed by the goodness of God.
Jim and I got to see several really good friends while we were there. It is so interesting to see the dynamics of families: the ones taking their first child...and the ones taking their last child. Jim and I totally skipped one of the parent sessions to visit with friends, because BEEN THERE, DONE THAT.
Come move-in day, tho, we'll all look the same: red, teary eyes...sad, sad faces.
We grabbed lunch on the way home. Logan and Morgan came over once we got here, and we were so happy to see them! They decided to come in for the weekend to watch Morgan's little brother play in his ball tournament, and because of Clark.
There were 9 of us at dinner tonight. We had to wait a while to be seated and we had to wait a lonnnnnng time for our food. It is prom night in our town, and we loved seeing all the teenagers all dressed up! The kids all seemed to enjoy visiting, so the wait wasn't a big deal.
We all came back to the house, and the kids got out ice-cream and cupcakes and whatever else they could find. And, now it's after 11 p.m. and we all have to get up early...and they are all sitting in the kitchen at the table, and they are talking and talking and talking.
I think my heart is about to burst.
I hear all the time from friends about situations in their families where there is jealousy or bitterness or people who cannot get along with each other. I am so thankful that my kids enjoy each other and enjoy hanging out together.
Today, our family came together for one reason: to support Clark. Watching Holly walk around the campus that has meant so much to her...showing Clark different things and taking his picture like he was a movie star...well, it was precious. We went in the bookstore no less than 3 times, and bought all kinds of swag. Holly bought Clark AND JOSHUA t-shirts, and bought a sign for Clark's dorm room. We didn't buy anything for Logan, because he is pretty much happy being a Arkansas State Red Wolf graduate, thank you very much.
And, Jim? In an attempt to be funny (AND WE HAVE HAD THE CONVERSATION THAT I AM THE FUNNY ONE, NOT HIM, SO STOP TRYING), said, "well, I'm glad y'all had fun buying goodies in the gift-shop, because all I got out of the trip is the BILL FOR HIS TUITION!"
And it was at this point I wanted to go all Regina George on him and say, "please stop talking."
But I didn't, and he did.
I hope Clark felt really loved today.
"Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity." Colossians 3:14