That mom…the one that cries at the drop of a hat…the one that loses it when the national anthem is played…the one who lies awake at night, praying for the safety of her son…the one who puts a flag on EVERYTHING.
I knew my youngest son wasn’t happy taking college courses, but I was seriously blindsided when I got a call from my daughter. She was the one who broke the news to me that he was thinking about enlisting and had dropped his college classes for the semester. Since he lived with his dad, I wasn’t always the first to know what was going on in his life.
Two days later, my son called me to apologize for not calling sooner and to let me know…
He enlisted in the Army that day
He was already sworn in
He would be leaving for boot camp on Monday (less than a week later).
I was in shock. I have always tried to hide my disappointments, fears, and sadness from my kids, but the emotions overcame me and my voice betrayed my breaking heart.
Don’t get me wrong…I am SO proud of him for making this HUGE life decision and for serving our country so selflessly and completely, but I needed some time to process the “mama thoughts.”
I needed time to process the shift from school to soldier life. I needed time to process and let go…to surrender my child 100% to God’s protection. I needed time to say good bye to my “little” boy and embrace the man he was going to become overnight. The hardest thing to accept was that I would not be able to see him off…to give him that last hug and kiss before the toughest challenge of his life thus far.
The day he left, I was able to talk to him for about 10 minutes. I pushed my emotions deep down into hiding for that phone call…I wanted him to remember his mama happy and proud of him. We laughed together and I made mental notes of what his laughter sounded like.
It’s now 2 days later, and I haven’t heard from him yet. I suspect he will call his dad and since they only get one phone call when it’s earned, I will need to communicate in other creative ways. There are several things I plan to do throughout his time in boot camp and I’m not sure if it’s more for him or for myself…
I’m writing letters every day. 2 down, 47 to go
I’m praying for him every morning. “The Power of Praying for Your Adult Children” (Stormie Omartian) has a beautiful prayer of protection in the chapter on “Be Protected and Survive Tough Times” It has become a comforting way for me to find peace and surrender my son to God’s protection.
And lastly, I’m doing push-ups, adding one each day, so when he gets out of training, he can tell someone ELSE to “drop and give me fifty”
To help me through the toughest days, I’ve found some great advice and tips from some Army moms groups and perhaps the best advice is to accept the waves of emotions that will come but always be positive and encouraging when receiving those phone calls or writing those letters…you can cry in the shower later…
Yep…I have a feeling our well pump won’t have to work quite as hard for a long while to come.
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