Missionary Parent: One Year In

Today marks the anniversary of Tomas’s first day as a missionary. I’ve been taking some time to think back on how the year has gone. As I imagine most would expect, it went very quickly and very slowly at the same time. We check in with him once a week, and often it feels like there’s been almost no time at all since the last time we talked to him. The first few months he was gone felt very long, but it’s picked up quite a bit since then. Yesterday when we talked to him, I realized that we’re now swinging around to the time when we have to begin thinking about prepping for what happens when he comes home. What classes he’ll take. Where he’ll live. Stuff like that. It’s not an urgent need or anything, but also not something that should slip off the radar.

Having him leave was definitely very difficult. I think if he’d gone to college first, it wouldn’t have been as hard. Knowing that he’d be gone for two years was a lot, and having him be the first of my kids to leave made that even more difficult. I still miss him. There are still a lot of things I did with him that no one else in the family really likes to do the same. Watching BYU football games isn’t as much fun, for example. And for some reason the rest of my family just doesn’t seem to care as much about video games and martial arts movies. I don’t get it.

At the same time, it’s been very rewarding seeing how much he’s growing while he’s away. I think it’ll be a challenge for me to not treat him as a kid anymore when he comes back. He definitely won’t be one anymore, but it’ll take some effort to break old routines. It’s a fine line to walk right now, being excited for him to come home, but not wanting to distract him too much from what he’s been doing. Having been on a mission myself, I know how much faster the second year goes than the first. It’s easier to make the transition back to “normal person” when you can give the mission the attention it needs while you’re there.

In any case, I’m short on time today, and I can’t say anything else. It’s been an interesting experience, and one that I’m glad to now have some practice with, because that first time was very rough.

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