Sunday morning we received word from our 15-year-old daughter that we had been anxiously waiting for — after Mackenzie called to tell us her plane had safely landed from Peru, she texted an hour or so later to let us know that the school bus was a few minutes away from pick up.
That’s all the news we needed to hear. In less than a minute, we were on our way to greet our daughter just as the bus was pulling into the school’s driveway.
When she stepped off the bus, I couldn’t help but wonder whether she had grown in the span of a week or so. Mackenzie actually looked taller, I told her, even in sneakers. My hugs felt a little strange as I put my arms around her and felt as though I had to look up to see her. How could that be?
Once Mackenzie got home, she ran up the steps to give kisses to her favorite pets that were waiting to see her. Then, she settled in to her room and did some unpacking. She spread out the treasures she purchased at colorful markets and invited me to see each one — from the hand woven alpaca scarf to the shaman necklace and music CD, to the dozens of other trinkets she picked up for friends, family, and herself.
As Mackenzie got used to the comforts of home, she started to detail each day and shared fabulous photos of her self-described “best trip of my life.” She talked about how she connected with new cultures, languages, and the beautiful people she met. She also spoke of the beauty of the Incan capital of Cusco, the high altitude in the majestic Andes Mountains, the ancient wonder of Machu Picchu, and the wonderful view from her hotel room.
When she was done, it all became a bit clearer to me. Mackenzie, you have grown. Welcome home, my love!