Gwen and Parker really wanted to decorate a welcome home banner for Gavin. They asked me every day. After everyone had left I pulled out a long section of butcher paper. They colored and colored all day long.

The picture was too much of an afterthought. I should have taken it while the paper was still on the wall. There are of course many cartoon characters like Phineas and Ferb and other cute drawings. It says “HI! (BRO)” According to Parker bro apparently stands for big rockin’ donut. Don’t ask.

Gwen had written “6 days of forever!” I thought that was adorable. To Gwen and Parker it was six days of forever without their big brother. One of them wrote that we have chocolate and the other one added “in the kitchen.” You know, just in case Gavin couldn’t figure out where the alleged chocolate was. The sign was cute. They did a good job and Gavin was properly impressed.

As Friday wore on Heath and I became more anxious to see Gavin. We were both a little unsettled with the idea that he could be coming home in the middle of the night or Saturday afternoon. We really had no way of knowing.

We had dinner plans in San Jose with Heath’s parents who were spending the night near the airport. We hung out until late in the evening. As we drove home Heath told me he was worried that Gavin would be sitting on our doorstep when we got home. He thought Gavin would be dropped off earlier than we were told. Really it made sense for Gavin to come home early. The more we thought about it the more anxious we were that some leaders were planning to drive home so late at night with scouts.

There was no Gavin sitting on the front porch when we got home sometime after 10:00. There was a voicemail message however. Gavin had called from a leader’s phone to let us know he was on his way home and should be home around 11:00. Worry and relief flooded me at the same time. I was grateful to know a time! I had less than an hour to worry about all the worst case scenarios that could play out before his expected arrival time. And I put my worrier to good use. I’m a mom. It’s what I do.

Heath tried to distract me with Last Man Standing reruns on Netflix. My attention span was short. It may have been an effort to escape me and my inability to sit still and just watch a show, but Heath announced he was going to drive to the church in case Gavin was actually being dropped off there instead of our house. We had been given the most minimal of information regarding this need to get a couple leaders home for Saturday. I was told to stay home and wait for Gavin there.

As Heath walked out the door I told him to be careful. That I couldn’t scrape both him and Gavin off the road! I know, I’m crazy. I used to worry so much when Heath would ref church basketball or volleyball games all night. If he was one whole minute late I was ready to leave my sleeping babies and drive to find him. Luckily he came home every time before I could execute on that stupid plan.

I paced for a minute and got a drink of water. Then I started another episode. Almost as soon as I did I heard doors. My heart started pounding. Gavin and Heath walked in. I guess Heath started driving up the street and saw a car headed toward our house. So he turned around and was grateful to see that he was right. It was Gavin. I ran over to Gavin and gave him a big hug. I was so happy he was home. I was even more happy that I didn’t have to claim him at some hospital. He was safe.

Gavin told us a little bit about his experience. We cut him off pretty early on and encouraged him to shower before heading to bed. It was very late and while none of us felt tired then it just made sense to go to bed. The laundry could wait as could the stories.

Until then . . .