My son was pursuing a career with the Coast Guard...but things were moving very slowly and one day last summer a Navy recruiter called him. My son told him he wasn't interested, but the recruiter asked to speak with a parent. (Smart guy, right?) After speaking with the recruiter...I suggested that we at least meet with him. I remember that night, him researching the Navy on our computer...and getting very excited about the prospect of Navy Seals. (He quickly got over the Coast Guard!) Long story...short...he chose SWCC instead of Seals and quickly got a SWCC contract.
Months have turned into weeks, weeks to days, and now there are just a few hours. This weekend we had the official farewell tour...went to see his aunt, uncle and cousins in SC. On Sunday, we had an open house...so many wonderful friends came by to wish him well. At one point I think we had about 20 of his friends playing football on our front lawn. Today, me, him, his dad and sister went to lunch and to see a movie together. We picked up a phone card, address book, and a few bandaids. Tonight was a family dinner with his favorite chicken casserole. He's out now...one more round of goodbyes to his friends.
Tomorrow at 2 pm, his recruiter is picking him up and our lives will never be the same. In my head...I know that is a good thing. After all, we raise our children to be good citizens, responsible adults, able to take care of themselves and someday,their own family. This is what my husband and I have spent 18 years preparing him for. My head knows that God loves him more than I do and that He is in control. I am so proud of him and all he has and will accomplish. But in my heart, my 4 pound 4 ounce premature baby is walking out that door with the recruiter. I'm tearing up as I write this...wishing my heart could catch up with my head. But until that happens, I'm going to focus on being the best Navy mom I can be. (I even ordered a Navy mom necklace on ebay today!) Starting tomorrow, our family will have a new normal...and that isn't a bad thing...just a different thing. My plan is to blog about that experience.