The hardest thing in life is to say goodbye to your child...we try to do it in baby steps starting at pre-school (oh how they cried) through high school, small trips here and there and then college.
Joining the military, however, is a completely different goodbye. It's almost like an abduction, no contact, only a quick call to confirm arrival and a box of their "proof of life" arriving, sometimes with no note.
This is tough,and feels foreign, against all parental instinct. I hear the pain in all the posts on this website. We have handed over our kids and they are gone.
But let's put this in perspective, they are 18 years of age or older, think back to when you were that age, you were more capable than your parents ever imagined, and so are our kids. And if you have doubts about their capabilities, the Navy doesn't, the Navy will help them find their way...and the brutal truth is, the Navy won't keep anyone that would not be able to make it through.
I had to force myself to stay busy and upbeat the first few weeks until we got our initial phone call...after that, all anxiety dissipated. Our recruit sounded so clear and present and there was a new sound of confidence in his voice. A change was happening, and it was good.
By the time we got our next call and a letter, it was evident that this decision, that he made,was one of the best ever. He is fast tracking into the young man he always hoped to be.
Yes there will always be worry about war and conflicts and where are they now, but we must accept their decision to serve and tap into the that place of great pride. Pride has to override fear.
This process also brings out complicated family dynamics, and we have to face some things we would rather not deal with. But really, we have to face them sometime, let's clear out the cobwebs and make a clean sweep of it, just like our recruits are doing with their lives. It's boot camp for everybody!
We are nearing PIR and can't wait to meet the new and improved version of our son. He dug deep in his faith and found strength that he never knew he had, and he did this on his own. He now knows how far he can can go in life, he was tested and came through it. This is valuable beyond any experience we can think of.
So, hold tight, trust the process and trust your recruit, they are more capable than you know.
Hooyah for them and Hooyah for you!