The past few days have been tough. We spent Monday exploring Raleigh, visiting our favorite museums and eating places, and then at 5 pm, we left our oldest son to begin his basic training.
We started with goodbyes to grandparents, who live next door.
Then we took pictures of the three brothers together.
We ate lunch at Char Gril, and later had a donut at Krispy Kreme. It was a lovely day together. But eventually, the time came.
Now we wait. We are much in the dark. We don’t know when we hear from him again – sometime in the next 10 days, then another long silence. We cannot guide or advise or protect or help… he is on his own.
At the last moment, you want to tell him everything he needs to know. But then you panic and realize that if you hadn’t accomplished that in the first 18 years, it isn’t going to happen now. And how do you sum up how to live life and negotiate its twists and turns and ups and downs….
So I hugged him hard, and said, “Be strong, be honest and make good choices. And remember, we love you and are proud of you.”
And that was it.
When he returns to us, he won’t be the boy we sent away. He will be changed by experiences we won’t share.
All I can do now is pray.