Last Monday, my son John swore in for the USMC. Dean and I were both present to watch him, take pictures, and give him a kiss and hug and wish him well in Boot Camp.
I am thinking of events just from a week ago and it feels like a year.
OMG John, I miss you so much!!!
I made it out the door of MEPS, one dragging foot after the other, and cried like a baby in the crosswalk. Cried in the car. Cried that night, and the next and the next.
Tears are welling up in my eyes as I write this, and I need to be careful because I’m actually assisting in a training class for new Escrow Officers’ in my company. It’s a weekend gig, so I am also missing my husband and church this weekend. Thank goodness I’m not the instructor! I get to sit at the back of the room and make sure the snacks are replenished and the meals get served on time, and that the students are well supported.
Every day I think about John and wonder how he’s doing. I found a support group on Facebook for Marine Moms and it’s been really helpful. I’ve learned that this deep and overwhelming depression hanging over me is normal. Ok well that’s good. I’m still depressed, I’m still sad. I can’t talk to him.
I consider what John might be experiencing. I hear from other moms that Recruits have good days, and really bad days, during Boot Camp. Days where they want to give up. Distress days. Extreme duress. I can’t bear to think of John feeling hopeless and I let my mind go to this place of tears in his eyes. I imagine him as my baby boy (I know he’s NOT, so just give me this for a minute) and his momma can’t comfort him. This breaks me.
The last week before he left for boot camp was so bittersweet for me. I was trying to drink in every minute of face time with him. Memorize every minute. I would look at him and cry. The nice thing is he must have been given the heads up by his recruiter “be nice to your mom.” Because there were lots of clingy hugs from me and he did not pull back, as he normally does.
This period of new manhood for my youngest, I am having separation anxiety and growing pains that I never anticipated. I want to write to him, I want to hear from him…something. I know I’m not alone in this. I’m just in a bad place.
Yes I am so proud of my son, for his dreams being achieved. He has dreamt of being a Marine for so many years, and now he’s living his dream. He graduated High School just a couple of weeks ago and (oh God here comes the tears again..ugh) had highest honors, So why am I not happy? Why am I not beaming with pride and skipping around all happy? Instead I’m wanting to isolate and be alone.
So this is what it is to be an empty nester? I’m not liking this Season the first week in. When does it get fun?