Tracey, I am copying a comment I posted on here a couple weeks ago, in hopes that my words might help you....
After receiving our first call from our SR yesterday, and thinking over our conversation and the things he's written in this letters (and after talking to other parents, veterans and current service members), I have some thoughts to share for those moms whose sons/daugthers have just left or are getting ready to leave:
1. Boot camp is hard. It's hard by design. The recruits have to dig down, mentally & physically. But if they've prepared themselves, they'll get through it.
2. The first weeks are the worst. Once their training gets more interesting, their days speed up and the monotony is more bearable. Their divisions (that they complained about at first) will come together and begin working as teams. It WILL get better.
3. Our recruits must be strong and brave. So we must be just as strong and brave right along with them. We are separated by miles, but not by conviction or faith or grit. We've got this. We've ALL got this.
4. Write letters. Lots of them. Our son (right before shipping) gave us instructions to only write one letter per week while he's in boot. He had read somewhere that he would get in trouble if he received too many letters. He then discovered he would not get in trouble, and began requesting lots of letters and some photos as soon as he began writing us.
5. DO: Keep the letters positive and include silly or interesting things that are happening back home. These little mental diversions help them get through their days. DON'T: Go on and on about how much you (or other family members or pets, etc) miss them. They don't need to hear that. We are strong for them.
6. I've heard from more experienced moms that missing your kid never goes away. You just learn how to keep yourself busy and focused in a positive direction. You learn how to deal with it. It's a process that is unique to each of us, but we all understand the struggles we're working through. We are far from alone in this journey.
Very good advice! I’m finding that in this journey, time is my friend. As each day goes on, I miss him just a little bit less. Our children are doing an amazing thing and I’m so proud for that! As hard as it is to let go and let them spread their wings and become the amazing adults they are, I knew it would come at some point. I’m looking forward to talking to him again and hearing all about his experiences. :)