The very best advice I've received so far (and I'm sure there will be more to come) was to make sure and have your recruit call from the airport in Chicago before he has to turn in his phone.
When he was on the plane, I sent him a text telling him I miss him and I'm proud. You know, all those encouraging words. I also reminded him to call me when he arrives... and before he arrives. I texted that his big brother tells me that he will be the one to get the first phone call.
And, so he was. I loved it. As my youngest is off on this brave adventure, making me worried and nervous and proud all at once, he and his brother are teasing their mom.
Big Brother got the phone call, and grinned at me hugely. Hi! Great to hear from you Little Brother! Oh, you have to turn in your phone right now? No time to talk to Mom? Oh well! See ya!
He doesn't really call him Little Brother, but since we aren't using names here, it works. That look on Big Brother's face was great. I saw Little Brother with the same look in his eyes, miles and miles away.
Then, my phone rang. He was with the other recruit who travelled with him. They were having a pizza break before they needed to check in. Even though he was quieter than usual, I could hear his big booming laugh and see his smile in my imagination because of the brother joke on me. I don't even remember what he said, just the feelings. I passed the phone to my husband for his turn to share well wishes. I suggested he call his other brother (he's the youngest of three).
Because of the Chicago call, I could smile through the "first phone call". As he was saying, "Here safe, box coming soon, and form letter after" I could giggle to myself, and get in my "I love you!" before he hung up.
He's going to be fine. He's smart. He's strong. He's determined. I love him, God loves him, and I know he has a purpose. He's on a path to his future, and all that is meant for him to accomplish in this world. He's on his way.
Thanks to all of you who came before and are leaving us new Navy moms great advice.