These two.

 Photo taken August, 2016 on the beach at Seaside, Oregon. Clark (23) and Trey (17) spent several hours being schooled by the ocean!

Photo taken August, 2016 on the beach at Seaside, Oregon. Clark (23) and Trey (17) spent several hours being schooled by the ocean!

One of my greatest joys is watching my adult children develop friendships with each other that I know will bless them throughout their lives. I have leaned many times on my brothers and sisters. Even though I do not live near them or speak to them daily they are in many ways my examples and my support system. 

I attended Brigham Young University, in Provo, Utah. I LOVED my time at BYU. I met my husband there. Geoff and I have taught our children the importance of a college education and we have (naturally) socialized them in the direction of BYU. In case you don't know, BYU is a private university owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It is a church school where you can receive a very competitive higher education in an atmosphere of Christian faith, surrounded by thousands of other students—from all over the world—who have pledged to uphold an honor code that embraces the standards of our church. For example, the "no alcohol" standard has secured BYU's longstanding rock bottom ranking on a list of party schools—I believe BYU is known as "cold stone sober," so for someone who values a safe, faith-based environment and top-notch academics, BYU really is an amazing place to be and to learn and to associate. The Wall Street Journal recently ranked BYU No. 2 nationally for student engagement.

I have many, many times over the years awoken my children by bursting into their bedrooms loudly singing the BYU fight song. I buy them BYU T-shirts and send them to BYU summer camps. The problem is it is becoming increasingly more difficult to get accepted as a freshman to BYU. Back in 1983, when I started, I had a 3.8 grade point average and a score of 26 on the ACT. I received a scholarship that paid for half of my tuition. Today, those stats would not necessarily make the cut, never mind the scholarship! Trey is a senior this year. Thanks to my socialization efforts, he has wanted to attend BYU for most of his life. He has worked incredibly hard in the three areas that BYU looks at: academics, leadership and extra-curricular involvement, with an emphasis on service. Clark, my oldest attends BYU now, which makes a freshman year there even more enticing for Trey! I'm sure you can tell where this story is headed. Trey applied back in November and we've been anticipating the news. Generally, BYU informs new freshman of their status by the end of February. This year, they have had an unusually high number of applications—can't be good?! Anyway, they emailed all applicants to let them know that they would be notified Friday evening, March 3rd. Unfortunately, Geoff and I left for Hawaii Friday morning. I was so bummed I wouldn't be there—to celebrate or commiserate. 

Already long story short, Trey didn't make it. SAD. His grade point is a 3.7 and he got a 27 on the ACT. He is the Vice President of his high school and super involved in musical theater. He is an Eagle Scout and regularly serves in our community. He is an outstanding young man. Of course I'm his mother, so my opinion may be slightly biased.

But, Trey not getting into BYU isn't really what this post is about. This post is about Clark, stepping up for his brother in a time of need. Naturally, we talked to Trey on Friday—in fact, we were on the phone when he read his email. Clark though was on FaceTime and after we hung up, he stayed on and cried right along with Trey. They talked and vented and talked some more. In fact, Monday afternoon, Clark visited the admissions office just to tell them how bad they blew it by not accepting Trey—there is some serious brotherly love for you. Clark was right there when Trey needed him and that fills my mama heart right up.

Now that it's been a few days and the dust has settled, Trey is moving on. In fact, he is feeling excited to attend his second-choice school, BYU Idaho. He has a roommate and an apartment contract all lined up. He is looking at classes and beginning to make plans. He will be fine. I think now it's Clark who is the most broken up. He is trying to convince Trey that he should spend his off-track semester in Utah. 

Me? I'm just grateful for family. Raising five children was and continues to be busy, but now I'm starting to see the payback. My children are growing up and leaving home and taking care of each other.

This is what I've wanted all along.