The big news, of course, is Michael's mission call. We spent the last two weeks helping him pack, clean his room, put stuff in storage (since Steffen claimed Michael's room), went clothes shopping, had him fitted for a new suit, had pants hemmed, did lots of laundry, and made a trip to the dry cleaner and the barber. He also put in his two week notice to Walmart with Friday being his last day. He received lots of support from fellow associates who wished him well and hoped he returned to the store after his mission. Saturday evening, we threw him a going-away party and surprising although it was a little cold, the sun was peaking through the clouds and it did not rain on us. We had a great barbecue and thank the friends and family who came to support him.
On Monday, the stake president set him apart as a full-time missionary for the Washington-Tacoma mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Then on Tuesday morning, we all drove him to the Tacoma Stake building. He went into the building with other new missionaries (some having just come off a plane from Salt Lake City) and senior missionaries. Grandma just had to wait around until Michael (whoops, Elder Riener) received his name tag to take a couple pictures. After picture taking and a quick hug and our good-byes, we headed back home.
Surprisingly, I held it together. So far it feels surreal. Maybe, because he is just across the bridge and not across the county, or maybe because we will see him in just 12 short weeks that it has not really sunk-in my baby is all grown up and moving on. I think when we take him to the MTC in July and we wouldn't be seeing him for 21 months - that transition is going to be harder on all of us.
My sources tell me his first 6 week assignment is not very far from us and that he is here on our side of the peninsula. We have also been told he has been paired with an amazing senior companion. I really, really am looking forward to his first email.
I am so incredibly proud of my son!!