The challenges of being a West Point mom began before I officially became a West Point mom. Oh the tears I shed last year as I prepared my heart for the strong likelihood that my beloved oldest OS would leave the nest and go far, far away. Y’all should have invested in Kleenex or any kind of “facial tissue product” during that time because you could have made some serious cash.
At the slightest mention of West Point, I was prone to a watershed of tears. It didn’t take much for me to completely lose it and I can honestly say that my faith in Christ and abounding prayers saved me from going nuts. And don’t even get me started on that day at 6:30am when I gave my boy a final hug and he began R-Day which was probably the saddest and proudest day of my life. Here is a picture of the saddest and proudest day of my life.
He’s more than halfway through his plebe year. It hasn’t been easy and that’s an understatement but my OS made the Distinguished Dean’s List and was Cadet of the Quarter in his company. Yes, I am bragging!
But now he’s sick for the first time and I’m far away. It stinks because I can’t take care of him, (not that he would welcome his mom “babying” him at almost 19 years old) but I wouldn’t feel so hopeless. West Point isn’t the best place for a sick kid with a virus. It’s a breeding ground for germs since everyone lives in close quarters. With some prodding, we urged him to seek medical attention. Nate acquiesced but actually getting the medical attention is easier said then done.
In the civilian world, we call the doctor and schedule an appointment. Often we can be seen the same day. At West Point, (and I am so NOT trying to be disrespectful because I truly honor the military) you get your sick, lazy butt out of bed at 5:30AM, stand in line with other sick cadets and wait to be seen. You hopefully get to see the doctor but unlike at a traditional university, where you can probably skip class and recuperate, at WP you don’t get to chill in your room and get better.
Plus if there’s a snowstorm (and there was a biggie this week) and you’re sick, well that’s even worse. In that case, you get your sick, lazy, dragging butt out of bed at 5:30am and stagger into the blizzard. Once at Sick Call, you stand in line for an hour only to hear that they won’t be able to see you today. And then you take that same, sick, lazy, dragging, virus-ridden butt back out into the frozen tundra and back to class!
Here is a picture from my plebe’s window on Monday.
I feel so powerless! I am 10 hours away and my plebe is miserable! So what does a mama of a Soldier do? She prays. She prays with her husband. She prays by herself. She asks her friends to pray for her boy. She writes on his facebook wall. She calls him. She annoys and pesters him. Because she loves him.
And she sends him emotional chicken soup. This idea came to me a few days ago as I thought, if he were here, I’d make him chicken soup replete with homemade chicken broth, maybe organic carrots, etc. But since I can’t, I send my plebe a steaming hot bowl of emotional chicken soup. Somehow it makes me feel better. And I hope it works just as well for him.
I will get to see Nate next week for Plebe Parent Weekend which will be so awesome but in the meantime, if you’re reading this, would you mind praying for my OS? Bless you!