There are two times when parenting is the most difficult. When the baby first arrives at home, and when the adult first leaves home. ~Jennifer Quinn, 3MomsTips.com
Here it is, The Day After. The day after I took my baby boy, my first born, my first true love, to the Army Recruitment Center. I gave him over to the people that spent so many hours with my son and me over this past year. The people that answered all of our questions and helped him decide how to follow his dreams as a soldier. I handed him off to the people that have been running him through PT exercises and preparation and readiness training. I gave them my son, and they put him in a van with 14 other young people. Then they carried him off, away from me, to take him to his Boot Camp and the adventures that await him…
It’s not like today is a surprise. It’s not like I didn’t know that eventually we would end up here. Isn’t that the whole point of parenting? To raise ’em up, then kick ’em out of the nest??
And it’s not like I’ll never see him again. It’s not like he won’t still be my son…but it’s all different now. It will be all different the next time I get to see him. The Army will be making a man out of him, taking the little boy that I have held so close for so long, and replacing him with a young man that is willing to go out and defend our country.
I am so so proud of him! And I am so proud of me. I am thrilled that he is doing what his heart is calling him to do. He’s following a long-time dream of his in a way that most of us won’t do. He’s not thinking of all of the reasons why not, or why he shouldn’t. He is just going for it. With gusto.
Why didn’t anyone tell me that it would also feel so terribly sad, so painfully emotional from my perspective?? I have a tribe of kids still left at home, and more than enough crap on my to-do list to keep me busy. So why am I just wandering around the house fighting back tears, trying to figure out what to do with myself?
Do all mommas feel this way when one of their babies leaves the nest? Is it this intense because it’s my first one to jump out? Because he raised me as much as I raised him? Or because he taught me what love really is all about? Maybe it’s because now I feel bad for not being sweet enough to my parents when it was my time to leave and I wish I could go back and be better? Is it because he and I have been through more than I had to go through with the other kids? Or is it because he’s going to the Army and that’s scary?
And most importantly, does it stop hurting so intensely?? When?? And do I have to go though this every. single. time. Cuz I have 4 more kidlets to send off one day.
While this isn’t my regular creative thought post, this is all about family. The energy is different when any one of us is missing. And he’s not just not here right now, he’s all grown up. And our family will forever be changed.