No one tells you how to prepare for when your child first leaves home. Are you suppose to be happy? Sad? What? I think everything depends on if you think they are ready or not. Two years ago I watched my oldest get his High School diploma. At that point I knew he’d be moving from where his siblings and I lived in California to where his dad lived in Indiana and go to college. I watched him pack and everything, maybe it was the fact that he was moving to his dad I was worried so much.
Maybe it was the fact that he sent me a text message in almost every state he passed through and continued to call/text while he was there. It could also be I knew I’d end up back out there and he was moving so he could go to college. All of these were great reasons. The hard part, even for me was letting him go. He’d been there every day with his siblings, even when his dad was 2000 miles away or if he’d been overseas.
I’ve known for a few months he was going to join the military. When we talked about it the first time back in June I knew he was gung-ho and nothing was going to stop him. Especially when I watched him lose over 40 lbs just to ensure he got in without being put on a weight-list. He was determined. So determined that 3/5 days of the week he walked the 5 miles just to go to the YMCA to work out. He could’ve asked me but only did on days where it was raining or super cold. Every other week he joined the Future Soldiers in training.
The talk that afternoon had been after months of him hearing about friends getting married, having children or joining the military and loving it. I knew it was a matter of time before he’d eventually want to do something other than go to college and work at the mall. I watched these past few months as he grew into the young man he is still growing into. He shed the pounds with ease and with each one I think he grew more independent and mature.
I come from a long line of servicemen, his dad was a Marine as well (I think he had a few more relatives on his dad’s side but not 100%). It was almost his destiny to become a service member. I say almost because I believe your destiny you decide on. We watched with pride yesterday as he swore in and headed off to boot camp.
Was he ready? I think he was and I think he’ll do a great job too. Will it be weird that he is miles and miles away? Sure, what mom/dad wouldn’t think it is strange after 19 years of having them under your roof and knowing they were perfectly fine. Will I miss him? Absolutely. But I’m excited about this next step in parenthood too. Am I crazy? Maybe, but it shows how well you’ve raised your child if they can make it on their own right? The parts that I don’t know how to help and maybe you do because you’ve been there are the following:
- He has two little siblings he is really close with. They will miss him terribly. He always played video games, board games and YuGiOh cards with them.
- His younger sister misses him and tends to have the same interests as him.
How do I keep all the siblings close when the oldest moves away? Is this possible?
-Writing letters weekly.
– Getting a family FB page so they can communicate
– Count down jars until they see him
– Care packages
Countdown until Christmas: (it is possible we get to see him but not sure yet)
Do you have any suggestions for a first time Army mom?