The major Rite of Passage all McCall children go through is a trip to Uncle Kim's. You get to fly on an airplane all by yourself, your siblings are totally jealous, and you get to spend a week with the coolest Uncle in the world. Your trip will include: flying on a plane, eating at some...uh...interesting restaurants, attending some type of cultural event, getting something computerishy, going to church, and enjoying special one-on-one bonding time with Uncle Kim.
For most McCall children, this trip doesn't occur until you're at least 8.
Mine did. I got to fly all by myself, eat at a few normal restaurants and some weird ones (probably my first exposure to chicken feet?), go see Phantom of the Opera in San Francisco, get an AOL screen name, enjoy being the brightest kid in primary (I knew all the songs :-), and we went camping. It was a blast. While I do remember being homesick one day, I got over it and thoroughly enjoyed myself.
Every family needs an Uncle Kim. He is always there for you, gets along with kids of all ages (from the baby to the crazy teenagers), provides you with things your parents would never buy you, never misses a baptism, blessing, marriage, or mission homecoming, and comes every year for Christmas. On the whole he is a very frugal person but when it comes to his nieces & nephews, all that goes out the window.
That being said, we're starting early with the next generation of McCalls. Back in September at Scotty's blessing, he told me about a Christmas Program his stake was putting on that he had been asked to be in charge of. I expressed interest (what an honor for him to be in charge!) and he explained to me in further detail about the program.
Then, 2 weeks ago, out of the blue, I get an email, inviting Scotty, Tyler & me up for the grand event! We were thrilled and gladly accepted. So, we flew up on Friday after Tyler got off of work and came home on Monday morning.
It was incredible! Scotty had his first plane flight, ate at a fun restaurant (well, he nursed in the bathroom at least), walked around the Stanford Campus, attended the 33rd annual "Heritage of Christmas," went to church, and had some fun one-on-one time with Uncle Kim. While he didn't not get anything "computerishy," his dad sure enjoyed playing with Uncle Kim's iPhone. :-)
The Heritage of Christmas was amazing. All of Uncle Kim's hard work sure paid off. The spirit was so strong and people's hearts were definitely touched. What an incredible experience for our little family and as Tyler said, "now it feels like Christmas."
Thank you, Uncle Kim!!! We love you so so much.
We also got to visit Chelsea & Mike- -they picked us up from the airport and we spent Friday night with them because Uncle Kim couldn't pick us up until Saturday. Chel & I lived across the hall from each other at BYU our Freshman year and have been best friends ever since. Luckily, Tyler & Mike totally get along so we enjoy lots of activities together.
After picking us up, we went by the Oakland Temple to see the Christmas lights. I'd forgotten a hat for Scotty so Mike let him borrow his beanie. So cute!!! Mike also dressed up as Santa for the Primary Kids on Saturday morning so we got Scotty's first picture with Santa as well.