Thursday, July 28, 2011

tick tock~tick tock

So, now we are down to 11 days until our son ships out... 
which is actually 10 days because he has to be at the recruiting
office at 3:00 the day before, then on to a hotel for the night.
We can take him out for dinner that night as long as we stay 
very close by (preferably in the hotel) and have him in 
his room by 10:00pm.We will go to MEPS  the next
day to see him do the final swearing-in 
(the "no turning back, you're in the Navy now" one) 
and  then say good-bye. Some parents go to the airport and
 hang out, but unless our son requests this, I think I'll pass. 
I can only take so many farewells.
Things seem surreal. It is hard for me to imagine him gone,
despite the 10 months we have known this date.
I am very excited, proud and grateful for this opportunity
for my son, but it is bittersweet. 
I don't even know what to do these last days.
He seems quiet and a bit withdrawn. I know this 
is not unusual and is part of the separation process.
I have the business of organizing an "Anchors Aweigh"
 party to distract me. Then come the good-byes 
and the long wait for communication from boot camp.

What a ride this has been...
and it has barely begun! 

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

19 days and counting...

I'm not sure how we got here, but my son leaves
 for boot camp in 19 days.
It seems like yesterday that we were counting months
and now it is just over 2 weeks! .
I am staying busy, trying not to obsess, but it is tough-
and he's still here! 
My son is getting ready. Yesterday he went through
a lot of stuff in his room. He cleaned up his desk top
computer since he now has an amazing lap top
to take to Charleston. The ball is rolling
and gathering speed. His new life is so close.
I am so excited for him, but scared, too.
How will he feel in Great Lakes,
 so far from home,
among strangers and under duress?
 I have confidence in him, but still, a mother
 does not like to know 
that her child will be in distress, tired and homesick.
I KNOW he will do fine. I understand the method.
These young people have to be able to withstand pressure
and still perform their tasks. 

So, it is nearly time for my son to say good bye
and face his future.
19 days.

Monday, July 11, 2011

28 days...

I live a blessed life. I have a a husband who is actually Superman
 (shhh! that's top secret), four children that amaze me every day, 
wonderful friends, a pretty home and the privilege
of time and space to pursue my artistic dreams. 
My heart sings a constant hymn of gratitude.

My oldest son is married to a sweet, lovely gal that we adore.
 He works for Frito-Lay and loves his job. They live close by
 which makes me so happy. My only daughter is a college student
 and a very talented artist. She is finding her way at her 
own pace (translation~ taking forever to get through school). 
She is a sweet, sweet young lady with a heart of gold.
My future sailor is an interesting kid~ very hard working, 
smart, driven. He knows everything, as do all 18 year olds.
 Beneath his bravado he has a tender heart and loves to help people.
And my "baby" is going into 9th grade. He is also very talented in art. 
He is very kind and brave.
I love them all beyond measure.

And in 28 days I will say goodbye to one of them. 
And it is goodbye~ goodbye to his childhood.
Unlike the more gradual transition to adulthood that most
 young people make,  the military life is a crash course
 in growing up. I know when my son leaves
 on August 8th, no matter what, he will be changed
when I see him again. I am excited for him
and proud of his choice. But part of me will mourn the loss
of his childhood, of his carefree life. 
I see it already~
 the realization of the seriousness of this endeavor. 

Next month at this time he will be in Great Lakes
being challenged  and molded into a Sailor in the world's greatest navy.
If he can do that, then I can do my part.
I can choose to dwell in gratitude
 for this opportunity, for all my sweet children, for this life that 
blossoms like the most tender rose. 

Monday, July 4, 2011

♥It is a great privilege to live in this amazing, FREE country. 
I am grateful for all who have created,
 nurtured and defended our freedom and to those that continue 
to devote their lives to service to our country.
 My hope is that God will continue to bless
 not only the United States,
 but this beautiful world that we share 
with our brothers and sisters. ♥
♥ Happy Independence Day!♥