It started after their spring break: They decided they wanted to go to Juarez, Mexico, and build houses. Not that it’s something new in our home. I mean, I’ve been 8 times. Kid1 has been twice.
Kid2 decided she wanted in on it this year.
So, we dropped them off last night. Well, we got them there and tried to remind Kid1 about sunscreen application and Kid2 to protect her feet and all sorts of last minute ideas that popped into our parent brains. They responded with those looks that said to stop it because we’re plenty old enough to know these things and about 100 others that you’re thinking about reminding us of. Never mind that earlier in the day each one had given us a couple of reasons to doubt their ability to remember to breathe or eat.
It wasn’t the tearful mournful send-off. There was tension. That kind of tension that graduating seniors have with their parents for three months between cap & gown and moving out. Parents feel the need to use any possible teaching moment and kids feel the need to show their life-skills competency. Three months of tension. It’s God’s way of preparing both for the adjustment. We got the same thing yesterday on a minor scale. Twenty minutes of tension.
So, this morning 85 of ’em loaded up 6 vans/trailers and left for El Paso. They’ll spend the night there, go to church with a congregation tomorrow morning, cross the border in the afternoon and set up camp. Monday through Thursday they’ll build.
When it’s all said and done, five homes will be built for families living in cardboard boxes. They’ll be back Saturday night. I know the drill. Like I said, I’ve done it for nearly a decade.
It never gets old, though.
Even though it doesn’t change the world, it’ll change a small part of the world for five families enough that they have a door that locks and walls that can withstand sandstorms and a roof that keeps them out of the midday sun. If you don’t have those things, well, they matter. No matter where you live.
This morning, I’m glad I have the kind of kids who get that. I’ll miss them, too. They make my four walls & roof resonate with life. But I don’t mind them leaving for this…
…even if they glare at me when I mention sunscreen application.