There have been many reasons for the radio silence… as we celebrate Labor Day weekend here in the USA, I have a moment to breath and account for where I have been and why I have been gone.
**The week of August 11th saw us waiting anxiously for news of our oldest son, who had just left for boot camp. We got his initial call that he made it to reception, then the call that he made it to boot camp. A letter came, which expressed how hard it was, how homesick he was, how he missed us. We were sad to miss having him home for his 19th birthday – as he wrote, he entered boot camp on that day – waking up on that morning, trying to become a man. We expected to hear it was hard. Many future soldiers write home miserable the first few weeks.
**Our middle son turned 16 with a trip to the mountains to fish with his uncle and friends. Hard to believe my children are so grown.
**School began again – on the 20th, I was back in the middle of the most overwhelming year to be I fear. School is over capacity – classes larger than ever despite a new teaching position – teachers sharing rooms because school is overflowing – new common core is making everyone have to change how and what we teach, and while we have been working toward this for 2 years now, every time we turn around, more changes are made and we feel overwhelmed – school is going to laptops, so new technology. The number of issues this caused the first week alone was depressing, and I spent far too much time over the 2 weeks I have been back at work trying to cope with tech issues, not teaching. And the students don’t even have laptops yet. Yes, you read that correctly – the issues were just with wireless in the building and re-imaging the old desk tops, etc. etc. It has been rough.
**The youngest started track and trumpet lessons. So, now full time school work+ kid schedules+ garden still growing = no internet time. Or breathing time really.
But none of this compares to the sadness I am feeling in my heart. Already, it was hard to let my son leave and join the military. I was proud of him for choosing his own path and ready to support it, even though it scares me to death. I have been writing him letters everyday, saying prayers, and mentally cheering him on. Then we got a call from his drill sergeant saying he was having trouble and may be coming home. I was shocked and stunned. What? Why?
The phone call was vague – he was having trouble with some aspect of the whole thing, and therefore may or may not be coming home and would then have another chance to try again…the phone call was kept short and the info I got was confusing. My son has done tough physical training before – he spent the summer in another state working at boy scout camp at the gun range – so he knows how to be away from home, how to cope with heat and camp food and so on….he was a volunteer firefighter, took 2 courses of sports med, and a boy scout, so the first aid should be a piece of cake. I have no idea what happened, or why….
And at this point, that is all we know. 2 weeks have passed and everyday, we look for a letter, a call, an explanation, we wonder if he is on his way home, or if he is making it work. Since we have not gotten an address for him, I think he is just in what they call “separation” from his unit, and will eventually be shipped home.
I cry. A lot. Especially when home alone. I cry at anything military. I spend endless hours on his companies facebook page looking through photos hoping to see him in action.
I am conflicted. If this wasn’t a good fit for him, then he should not be there. For his sake or the country’s sake. Why then am I so sad for him? If he comes home, he is no longer putting himself in such a dangerous pathway. He is back here where we can see him and know he is well and good. But I do feel devastated. Sad for him – worried about how he will feel about this if he comes home – worried about what he will do next, since he turned down all the other options and has no plan B. And it is hard because everyone is asking about him and praying for him and wanting him to succeed – it will be hard to let everyone know he “failed” because much of the world will see it that way.
And I have prayed, begged, looked for signs, asked for signals, rushed to the mail – sat by the phone. The not knowing me is killing me – and yet, I am almost afraid to know, because I do think he will be returning. I try to have hope – but I think it will take a miracle, based on what little I have read, to make this turn around. And then what?
It is true – no matter how old your child, you worry. And when you think they are hurting or sad or lonely or frightened – you feel it. At this point, I feel paralyzed by it, because there is simply nothing I can do – I cannot call him, I cannot run to boot camp and talk to his leaders – I cannot text him or demand he come home. He is an adult, making his own choices, solving his own problems, finding his own way.
But he is such a newly minted adult – how can he know what is best? Then again, I have never been a mom of a 19 year old – how can I even know what is best, how to handle this, what to say or do. I had gone to that place in my dreams where I was there watching him “graduate” from basic – so proud and amazed at his accomplishment. It is hard to let go of that dream. I can only imagine what it must be for him as well to be letting go of it .
So mostly, I pray for peace, wisdom, guidance. So that when/if we get a phone call, I will know what to say, how to react so that he knows, above all, that he is loved, and has our love, always.
And of course, I am still also praying for a miracle to work for him – its just that I don’t feel I know what that miracle should look like. Perhaps coming home is really what is right for him. Perhaps acceptance would be a better thing to pray for.