It’s hard to say whether I would be this sad if my son were at a different school. He had the opportunity to go to a distinguished university about 45 minutes away. I assume I would have cried when we dropped him off at his dorm and I would have cried when he wasn’t home on the weekends.
(the picture is my very poor attempt to artistically depict my state of sadness. I am in the tv room but have superimposed a rollercoaster thus showing you that I am having a rollercoaster of emotions. It is very profound.)
But I think I cry more than I would have and today is devoted, in part, to crying. I am sad. My husband just dropped our son off at the airport and I sit here typing away, with tears in my eyes. I’m on my way to church but I would feel awkward appearing so vulnerable. Not caring if anyone reads this or comments, just using this computer as an outlet for my sadness.
I know I am not alone. There are West Point mamas all over the country preparing their hearts for the farewell. There are other brothers (and sisters) who are wiping away tears and there are dads who are trying to put on a strong front but inside they are weeping. And then there are families who might be sad because their son or daughter didn’t come home for Spring Break and wish they had a week’s worth of time with their Soldier. Anyway I look at it, it’s emotional.
I was surprised at the bevy of tears I have shed this time. Memories of last year flooded inside me as I think I alone could have solved our state’s drought with the amount of uncontrolled crying jags I incurred.
It’s just that I love this kid. I mean really love this kid. I mean, his name means Gift of God, for goodness sake! I don’t even understand how a wretch like me ended up with three amazing sons and I am stupefied how someone like me ended up becoming the proud mama of a Soldier and a West Point cadet. So there we were all sitting around the dinner table last night and the water works started. We made our usual gross jokes about things most courteous people never discuss during mealtime but then it hit me. And I felt the tears stream down my face. Nate remarked, “this is the saddest dinner I’ve ever had!” What he didn’t know is that I was actually staving back the ache in my heart. I could have really let loose!
My precious middle OS, Aaron held my hand as my husband prayed before we ate. He looked at me tenderly and squeezed my hand extra tight. Then he put his arms around me and reassured me, “It’s gonna be ok, Mama,” he smiled and seemed to understand.
I’m on my way to church and I’ll be bringing Kleenex and I’ll be better. Thanks for listening.
I will preface my comment by saying that our family is extremely close and tight knit…so, I was very sad when my cadet decided to fly, not home, but to Colorado for skiing with his friend who is a girl and her family (“Friend” from high school whose family relocated from Arkansas to Colorado). We really missed spending this past week with him but were thankful for the PPW time…even though he was dead-tired and sleepy the entire weekend.I had to resign my thinking to “this is the new normal”.For,this is how his life will be from here on out. Hopefully, we will pin his Airborne wings on him in June (if he ends up passing calculus) and grab him for 5 days (which really means 3 due to travel). Then, we’ll get him for 23 days in the summer. But,the next 3 years will be more of the same. After that…don’t want to go there.The main lesson I am presently learning,in light of the above, is to focus on his happiness and success apart from me.I think this the last part of “truly” letting go and completely releasing my arrow into the world.Still, all I have said doesn’t means it’s easy. I guess I still have some “growing up” to do myself….
Life as a WP parent is no easy task. Yes… it’s an adventure I would trade for nothing, but the roller coaster analogy is dead on. Up one minuted, down the next. I am just so thankful that the Lord made this a ride we took with our first, and not our last. At least that way, we have two other Olive Shoots at home to take the ride with us. I can’t believe how proud I am of Aaron and Isaac… oh, and that Nate kid too.
I am praying for you and your family as you ride this rollercoaster of emotions. I still have little ones at home and the only thing I am dreading at this point is summer camp. I can not imagine sending them away for months at a time. You have three wonderful boys. The Lord has blessed you richly!Love you!
As another West Point mom…My sentiments exactly! I tried to keep my focus on the six days we had him at home for spring break instead of worrying ahead that he will not even be coming home this summer. We won’t see him again until Thanksgiving. Waaaah!!! I love your blog. 😉