Flying the Coop

The other day I was watching PBS (my new favorite channel by default)
I was watching a Nature program about a dolphin named Tilly.
In the loving Atlantic waters Tilly learns to eat, play, and defend himself right along side his parents.

At one point the narrator of our little story said…

"Tilly has become of age. He is ready to be on his own.
His parents are preparing to leave him now.”

And with that, while Tilly is distracted by some cool seaweed or something...

his parents up and swim off –
(reminiscent of the nursery room at our church every Sunday...)
ultimately leaving him alone.

Little fish in the in the big ocean!

Tilly swims around frantically crying for his parents to come back.

Well, this reminded me of another slightly less traumatic event that happened just six weeks ago at the Salt Lake City Airport.

My parents just up and left us.

They left on a LDS mission to Freetown, Sierra Leone Africa for the next year and a half.

It was a bittersweet send-off just before midnight the last day of May.
Just myself and my five brothers and one sister biding them farewell.

The goodbye's started earlier at our home with my kids saying their own goodbyes.

When my parents return next November...
Brett will be a full-fledged licensed driver, I will have two teenagers, and Canyon will be walking and talking.

Then later that night the spouses and other grandchildren gathered at my parents house for a tearful send-off.

Rather than fight over who got to drive Mom & Dad up to Salt Lake we decided that just the seven Neves children should drive them up together.

My Dad Schmoozed the Delta ticket agent into getting them better seats for the 14 hour flight to Africa.

Canyon was just under the weight limit thank goodness.

We weighed the four suitcases.
And my Dad's signature Neves cow ear tag insured that the suitcases made it across the International waters.

With a little extra time before the flight was called, we had some time to talk about the next eighteen months.
We also talked about the good times we've had growing up.

 The boys gave my parents some last minute advice.
(be safe...stay together...try not to look like tourists... etc)

As we were gathered together in a small corner of the airport...
there was a strange man hanging back just watching us.
He never stopped starring at us. Awkward! ( here he is circled in green) It was creepy.

Later when I told Dean about the creepy guy, Dean laughed and said that he was probably Security!
Probably so... we were acting a bit suspicious.

 A few more pictures...a few more I love you's...

and then just like that...they flew the coop!

The seven of us lingered at the entrance long enough to see my Dad get the pat down and full security detail.

And a few hours later while we slept and went about our lives... 
They arrived here!
they sound happy and overwhelmed
So far the e-mails home have been great...a little scary, but great.

And now the parents are gone.
And it's just us kids.

the seven of us in 1987
Wes..Brooke..Hilary..John..Will..Josh..Jared.. (and my Dad in the tree)

And here we are at the airport saying goodbye.

So like Tilly the Dolphin; we are now on our own.
It is a good thing.

It will prepare me for the time when my own little chickadees will fly the coop.
To every thing there is a season and a time to every purpose under Heaven.
Who knows, by now Tilly the dolphin is probably having the time of his life.
His blood pressure is down - he is sleeping better - he is finally his own Mammal.
Go Tilly!



Platt Lucky 7 said…
So sweet! What a great story writer!
Jill said…
Make me cry you!

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