I looked over at my husband to determine if his face would provide me with even a tiny clue that what I was hearing was true.
My eyes welled with tears, but my heart beat with disbelief.
“Me?” I sputtered with an incredulous gasp.
“Are you sure?” I questioned my son.
Micah and his father sat across our dining room table. They asked me to sit with them that summery, December afternoon. The two schemers had already been discussing the matter – ahead of time – out of my hearing. With his father’s blessing and support, Micah was ready to ask me something significant.
Honestly, I never, ever, ever, ever expected to hear his words.
“Mom,” Micah began, “I know you’ve always wanted to go to Australia. Last year, when we learned I was accepted to Pais Australia, one of the things you said was that I would be going to Australia for you, since you probably would never go now. Well, I am wondering if you would like to come to Australia and be with me. You could come at the end of my Pais year and then we could return to South Africa together.”
Like I said, my mouth fell open.
Like I said, I looked over at Micah’s father. Then, I looked back at Micah.
The two sat there – grinning.
I could not comprehend it all.
“Micah,” I countered. “Are you sure you want me? Your mom???”
“Yes, Mom,” assured Micah Man. “Dad gets to go places all the time. You’re always home with Jake and Caleb. Dad isn’t interested in Australia, but you have always wanted to go there.”
I won’t lie.
An interest in Australia sparked during my sixth-grade year when I wrote a report about the Land Down Under; a land of staggering and stunning contrasts of tropical and desert climates. Along the smallest continent’s circumventing coastline are over 8000 islands. Did you know that? The Great Barrier Reef is there too; a natural, oceanic wonder. The red, sandstone monolith, Uluru Rock is positioned in the center of Outback country. And then there are the animals – those found only on the continent – sleepy-eyed koalas, buoyant and bounding kangaroos, wallabies, and wallaroos, odd, little echidnas, laughing kookaburras, burrowing wombats, and so much more.
My first international trip flew me to Asia. My second? Europe. My third – South America. Then in 2006, our family moved to the continent of Africa. I dreamed of one day visiting Australia and calling my continental travel complete as I fulfilled a sixth-grader’s aspiration.
Tears welled in this mama’s eyes.
“Will you come?” Micah asked.
“Let me think about it,” I replied.
Honestly, the thought of such a trip – during the year that our family is planning a three to four-month home assignment in the States as part of our missionary responsibilities – seemed like a luxury.
Micah read my doubtful mind.
“Mom,” Micah declared. “I plan to buy your airline ticket.”
Okay, Friends, that is when I lost it.
My then-eighteen-year-old son not only had invited me to visit him in Australia, he also had a plan to fly me there.
What could I say?
I accepted my son’s generous invitation and answered, “Yes!”
Well, Micah purchased my airline ticket. Yes. Yes, he did.
And today, I applied for my Australia visa for the trip, and was awarded it. Just like that.
Friends, in early July, this mama is flying east from Africa to eastern Australia to spend ten days with her eldest son – who truly wants to be with his mom.
I still can’t believe it. I still get choked up just thinking about it.
But, the ticket is bought, the visa is in hand, and all I must do now is pack.
Micah Man and I will soon make some incredible memories together – John will make some fun memories with Jake and Caleb, too.
And it will be a July to remember!