I traveled to Great Lakes, Illinois a couple of weeks ago to watch our son graduate Navy boot camp. I knew I’d be an emotional pile of Mom tears but I wasn’t ready for seeing my 18-year-old transformed from the young boy that had me hunting Pokemon at 9:30 pm in the park, to the man who stood before me in his uniform, tall and proud. My son grew up in the blink of an eye, sadly.
The ceremony was beautiful, the parents were beaming, and we all shared one thing in common that day-our children were brand new Sailors! I met many of Jordan’s boot camp buddies and their parents before we headed to the Navy exchange to buy a “Proud Navy Mom” t-shirt and hat. I even bought two bumper stickers that I’m considering putting on my car that I swore would never have any stickers. This is my son, after all.
I’m having a difficult time reconciling myself to the fact my boy has moved out and probably won’t be coming back other than on the occasional visit during leave. He has his own life now out of state…away from me. He’s busy and I don’t get texts back but I do know that he reads them. When he has a spare minute he’ll “heart” one of my photos on Instagram which tells me I’m not completely forgotten in his new adventures.
I’m happy for him; excited, really. But that excitement is tempered with the bittersweet memories of my tiny baby boy and how I had him with me everywhere I went. I crave those times now, even more.