Well, I take my daughter to the recruiter tomorrow and they drive her to MEPS. She will stay in a hotel overnight then process through MEPS, get sworn in again and off to boot camp. She is my only child and WOW! What an emotional train wreck I am...how do you get past the empty feeling? Does everyone feel like their heart has been ripped out when their child went to boot camp? Ugh...
Yea, it really is an emotional rollercoaster.... you'll have good days and bad days. You'll have to find a mantra that works for you. I basically just tell myself, "It's my son's life now ... he's starting his career ... it's the circle of life." My son finished boot camp on 12/14/18 -- and just finished A-School on 4/25/19. We just got off the phone with him -- and it's like my heart has been filled up with love. I get down and low and then he calls and it's like I'm filled up again with a warm feeling.
Those first few weeks are absolutely the hardest. Waiting for the form letter with their address is brutal. Dropping my first born off at the recruiter's office was my ugly cry melt down....all the way home (I didn't expect it to hit me like that) Writing them letters helps, you can write her and just keep them in a pile until you get her address, it served as a therapeutic release for me. I just saw my boy off at the airport today (he graduated yesterday) I can tell you, the last 8 weeks was worth it. All the tears, waiting, anticipation..... Seeing him at graduation, was my ultimate proud Mama moment and honestly there is no better feeling. Knowing that he's made this huge step and accomplished so much and following his own path. Seeing the boy who left my car at the recruiters office 8 weeks ago and the young man who got back in my car after boot camp graduation, yesterday....there are no words to describe how amazing it feels to be so full of pride of your child.
Thank you for this message. I'm so proud of who my son is already. I can't imagine how I'll feel when he becomes a sailor. He leaves for boot camp in one month.
It's been really hard for me. My daughter is my only child also. She left for boot camp on 3/11, she had some issues with the final PFA and got pushed back 4 weeks.That was a hard phone call when I was expecting to see her for Mother's Day. I am hoping it will get easier when she starts A school. she will still be 10 hrs away from me but at least she can call me when she needs me. I know we have to let them go at some point just didn't know it would get here so fast. This group is a good place to start learning to cope.
I'm feeling that way too. My son leaves in a month and I am not ready. I keep that hidden from him but when he's not around me, I'm a wreck. I love him so much.
The not hearing anything is rough. Just keep in mind that no news is good news and that there are lots of moms going through the same thing and that we are here for you. Getting the kid in a box is kind of creepy. It reminded me a lot of getting my dad's things from the hospital after he passed away, but not as neat. It is ok to let the box sit until you're ready to open it. One thing that my SR did that I didn't expect, but really helped was that he put a personal note in with his form letter. Not all of the kids think to do this, so it might be a good idea to mention it to your daughter before she goes. As the others have said, it does get easier, or at least you get used to it.
Thank you to everyone for all the thoughts, and suggestions. I have got so much help and info from this site.
Margaret-- I am a 6 year veteran mom (My middle, whom I was closest to) left home for his Navy Adventure 6 years ago. I came on this site the day he left to go to MEPS. We took him out to dinner, and I fell apart on the way home, hardly slept that night-- was on here reading all I could, went to see him swear in, went to see him at the airport for a bit but Hubby insisted we leave before his plane. Hubby got the "I'm here" call and I was inconsolable for over a week! It felt like someone had died, but I knew he was fine! It was the wonderful moms on Bootcamp Moms that saved my sanity!! Slowly but surely as I learned exactly what to expect, what should be happening and when, getting the letters and re-establishing communications that I was able to pull myself into this new normal. I don't want to leave others in that same helpless state I was in so I stay around. I have found that READING Everything you can helps. You may want to join the Bootcamp moms page and your PIR group when you get the form letter and know your PIR date. Some folks are more comfortable on FB and there are Navy Moms pages there too. You can search for their job, PIR date, and later duty station.
The empty feeling is NORMAL!! so are the tears of both PRIDE, Joy, sadness, grief, longing...... they are all NORMAL! The first 3 weeks are the hardest since you have no communication. Go to MEPS and see her swear in, GO to the Airport (if you can) and spend the time before she flies out with her. Have her call when she get to Chicago before she checks in (they have a bit of a walk-- about 10-20 minutes that she should be able to talk to you.) Have her leave a message on your phone-- DON'T listen to it till you have "that" day!! (you'll know when you need to hear her voice. ;) ) Ask her to write a note and leave in in her pants pocket for you to "Find" when the "Kid in a Box" arrives. Write her a note tonight an put it in her wallet (she gets to keep that and SHOULD keep it!!) for her to find, letting her know how proud you are of her! and that she CAN do this!! (and how much you love her always!!). Know that you are not alone in this! There are moms on here (and on other pages) that are here to help you! As hard as it is the Main thing to remember is that in BC No News is Good News!!
Have her leave you a message on your voice mail so when you get to missing her you can listen to it. My daughter went to build a bear and made me a bear with a sailor suit and when you push the paw it says "I love you " in her voice.
Margaret - I don't think that I've ever cried as much as I did the day that I dropped my son off at the recruiter. My face was so swollen that I could barely see! That was a year and a half ago. What I can tell you is that bootcamp is tough... but most make it thru. 8 weeks seems like FOREVER when you haven't spent more than a few nights at a time away from your kid since birth... but when it is over, it will seem like a blip on the radar. Once you get to see her again afterwards... it will be pure joy!
As a Navy mom... I think the biggest lesson that I've learned is that I have to let go... and watch him shine. Technology is my friend as we chat on FB Messenger weekly. My life changed forever on that drive to MEPS... but you adjust and you make the most of it. Just be Navy Mom strong and resilient!!!
I felt the same way--and still do! This forum has helped me so, so much. Every time I read about someone else going through the same thing I feel ever more grateful. Hang in there. It does get a little bit easier to bear if you start writing letters. Even if you don't have an address yet, you can start writing and dating them to send when you find out what ship/div your SR (seaman recruit) is going to be in. My son said all my letters arrived at the same time! (but it made his day) They say the recruits who get letters do better in bootcamp than those who don't. Prayers for you and blessings to your new SR! Suzy
Margaret I totally agree with Tammygirl...LIVE for those phone calls! The feelings will ebb and flow and hit you at weird times. Use this amazing site to keep your spirits up and get all the venting and worries out so that when your daughter calls or you write to her, you can be positive and upbeat. That's what she'll need from you so she can pull through BC with flying colors. My daughter left April 10 and each day is one day closer to her PIR and A School, where she'll be able to communicate a lot more. You'll get through this, and we'll all be right there with you!