Wednesday, September 9, 2009

from a mamma's heart

I forgot the camera so I can't show you what it looked like when Caleb and Courtney got to our house yesterday, or what it looked like at our Mexico Joe's dinner out as the Smiths just kept arriving and arriving at the restaurant to share time with Caleb, but I can try to paint a word picture. We are pretty affectionate in this family and hugs come easily. Caleb and Malachi: that's a special sight. They are really peers now, at 25 and 21, more than little brother-big brother, and while Caleb is shorter, blonde and work-out/Army built and Malachi is very tall, slender, wiry built and has his dad's darker characteristics, the facial similarities which didn't used to be so easily recognized are there now in their "grown up man faces"...variations on a theme, but similarities not seen in earlier years. It was a precious moment for this mamma! The deep felt, prolonged hugs between Caleb and his younger sibs yesterday was so special. Isaiah does not know Caleb as well as the others because of when Caleb moved out on his own and when Isaiah came home, but the love and the bonds are not weakened by that kind of "little stuff". Lots of hugs, lots of stories, lots of "let me show you......." from Naomi and Rachel, a bit more shyness from Leah, reserved excitement from Isaac and Noah.
Right before we started to leave for dinner, the power went off throughout the house, and fencing. . After Caleb checked all the circuits to make sure it was not just our house popping a breaker, we figured that a bolt of lightening somewhere had apparently stuck something critical to our having electricity. Of course at that same time, my littlest doe goat was persistently escaping from the pasture,(combination of no electricity to the hot fence and a goat who does not like her new surroundings) Caleb helped me rig some new fence, to which Rose responded by finding a NEW escape route. Caleb then helped me move little Miss Rose to another hard fenced small area. Success that time. WELCOME HOME SON!!!
Caleb picked Jael up at the high school on their way to Joe's, and he said she jumped on him so hard she nearly knocked the two of them down. THAT had to be quite the running -jumping- hug because while Caleb is not as tall as his other brothers, he is built and buffed rock solid!! Jael is very slender, but she is "Gymnast Strong" which is almost "Army Strong" and he loved it!
Basketball, youth group, work schedules and all being what they are we started piling into the restaurant at a bit before 6 PM and kept piling in and out until almost 9 PM! It was an attention grabber for the customers all around to see their favorite shift leader, Esther, stop what she was doing, which was carrying a tray of drinks, to grab a handsome blond man as he headed for his table and give him a huge hug. She proceeded to tell customers all night long that her big brother was home from Iraq. As Gideon came in, more big tight affectionate hugs, this time with fists pounding each others' backs, Jon reacquainting with his comrade in arms brother-in-law, Caleb marveling over his first glimpse of little sister Hannah's 'great with child" belly, and then the father -son reunion when Charlie came in and joined the group. I LOVE MY FAMILY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Gideon was being Gideon, and Esther has a way of soothing that savage beast like no other. We all delighted in watching her rub the top of Gideon's head and tell him "it's all're OK..." when he got a bit testy over some comments made. Esther had to have her laughs at Caleb's expense of course and announced to the restaurant that it was her brother's 26th birthday soon ( Oct 9) and that since he will be back in Iraq for the day, she wanted to celebrate it tonight. She plunked the big trade mark sombrero on his head and led the staff as they sang their HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Caleb. So as Smith sibs came and went for their various other events, it was entirely wonderful to sit and just chat together with Caleb and Courtney, Hannah and Jon, Gideon, Malachi, with the younger kids popping in with stories and comments too, Jael with her random off -the-wall fun stuff, and Esther every chance she got for a sit-moment, and Charlie too! His work schedule was so heavy he was not going to come home last night, but Caleb talked him into working a full double day today so he could join the first reunion.
Caleb and Courtney headed back to OKC to their apartment ,and won't be here today..we are planning a zoo trip with them for sometime this week or next, but Saturday, thanks to Gideon and some football player friends, Charlie and I are going to the OSU - Houston football game together with Caleb and Courtney! HAPPY BIRTHDAY CHARLIE (the 13th actually) and WELCOME HOME CALEB!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I told Hannah that she "may" have the baby any day EXCEPT Saturday! We'll see how that plays out!


Laurel said...

Thanks for the wonderful word picture. Oh how well we know those homecomings.

Our oldest and youngest are 18 years apart, so they hardly spent any time together before he left to serve our country. But ... they couldn't be closer. At age 7 and age 15 ... they are two of our very closest siblings.

Enjoy your time with Caleb!!!


love2bmom said...

wow what a blessed homecoming reunion!! Thanks for sharing!

Ck said...

Welcome home Caleb.
Please post pictures soon, as I only have memories of "little boy Caleb."