Wednesday, May 10, 2006

They Leave the Nest Eventually...

You think the day will never come when they are toddling around, drooling on stuff and clearing off coffee tables. You envision a day when no one will mess up your house, a baby swing will not take prominence over art in the family room and baby bottles will not fill the top rack of the dishwasher.

When the teen years hit, you wonder about a life spent devoted to this person who no longer thinks you are cool. Who likes his friends better and finds them smarter....and funnier.

You know I usually stick to the funny but the first weekend in May had me looking hard to find anything funny at all.

Backstory: the oldest, who has just completed first year in college (he lived away but came home weekends - less and less as the year went on) signed himself on to the army after graduation. The good side? The army will be paying for college from now on. The bad? My baby may get himself killed somewhere, someday. I guess we all run that risk though on a daily basis.

C decided his junior year in high school that this was going to be the life for him. He wanted to enlist. His dad and I talked him into going to college first. "Go in as an officer so you can boss people around!" You know, I am all about the bossing people around so that was my advice. We told him not to sign up for anything the first year, that we would gladly pay for college. He waited and now as a sophomore he is no longer mine. He literally belongs to the U.S. Army. Part of what he now wanted to do was attend basic training. He could have gone to Officer Basic but NO, he wanted to do what the men underneath him had to do. So, the army was picking him up on Monday to go to Ft. Benning, Georgia and attend infantry basic. He could not take his cell phone, laptop, ipod or anything. I will not see him ALL summer long. His brothers will not get to have him give them purple nurples all summer long. I won't get to see his long body draped over the sofa, punching a remote all summer long.

We spent our last weekend alone. Just the two of us. Everyone else in the family had something that weekend (church retreat, cub scout camp out) so C and I spent two days together. We went to the movies and we went out to eat and most of all, we talked. We also hugged each other a lot. My hugs were a desperate attempt to imprint him on me again. Just like when he was a baby and I held him all the time. I cried a lot.

You would think that when he left for college I would have felt more of this. But he still felt like he was my boy then. He no longer feels like my boy. He doesn't even look like a little boy anymore. He went to college, began doing army p.t. (physical training) every day and lost 20 pounds. He is definately a man, and a man in charge of his own destiny.

This is a pic of us on the day he left. Doesn't my hair look amazing?? Low humidity that day.

C and I kind of grew up together. I had him when I was just barely 22. I didn't even like kids all that much until he came along. I thought he was the most awesome and amazing thing in the whole world! He was always funny and smart. Never threw temper tantrums or anything stupid like that. He was a cool little kid and he grew up to be a cool adult.

C is a son to be proud of and we are. He is such a good person and so patriotic. I don't know where he gets that. We don't even own a flag.

Oh, wait there's more! Tune in when I tell you how his biological sperm donor (BSD) made contact the Friday before C left. How did he find him and make an end run around me? Myspace. I hate Myspace. It is the devil. Add that to an already emotional weekend. More on that later.


  • Aww, D! I am feeling for you. I cry at anything these days, but I am already seeing my first born run off and leave me!! You must be so proud that you raised such a good son. Good luck to you and your family!

    By Blogger #1 Dancer, at 5/10/2006 11:50 AM  

  • You two look so much alike - especially the smile. He does look like he's on the cusp of manhood. Your post gave me the chills - so many reminders lately of how short life is.

    (And your hair does look amazing! In fact, hubba-hubba on the whole package!)

    By Blogger Mignon, at 5/10/2006 12:11 PM  

  • Oh, wow. This had me teary eyed and my son is only six! Time goes so fast that I know that will be me one day saying goodbye to him though. Before I know it.

    Your son looks so much like you! What a beautiful photo and a weekend of memories you'll have to treasure when he's away. Our country is so very blessed to have good people like your son to protect us. I know it is hard as his Mother, but I'm sure you feel pride in him too. You obviously did a great job raising him.

    Sending hugs your way...

    By Blogger Crazy MomCat, at 5/10/2006 12:15 PM  

  • It's hard to believe a guy that big was once a baby...and yet not hard to believe at all...

    Definitely post the Myspace story, please. Maybe the BSD was waiting until your son turned 18 so he didn't have to contact you?? Hmm.

    By Blogger B.E.C.K., at 5/10/2006 1:20 PM  

  • I don't even have kids and I felt my heart clench! It's not fair that Mom's have to hurt so much. I'm sending all my hugs to you.

    Myspace IS the devil. I've heard so many horror stories about it.

    By Blogger Tink, at 5/10/2006 1:32 PM  

  • I hate MySpace. It's evil incarnate. And lame.

    Your entry made my eyes all tear up. Probably because I have three boys, and also, because I think I can imagine how my parents felt as they said goodbye to me when I was 19, joining the Marine Corps. My father, afraid they'd send me off in the sand (Gulf War) didn't talk to me for three months.

    Write him lots of letters. And, he's joining the Army, and I think they let him have phone calls. I'm sure he'll call you. He'll be fine :)

    Also looking forward to the BSD story....

    By Anonymous Sharla, at 5/10/2006 2:09 PM  

  • Debbie,

    I don't know how you're doing it without being drunk under the bed EVERY SINGLE DAY!! You're made of steel, woman! I hope C gets the best guardian angel that Heaven can dole out. A pox on the sperm donor.

    By Blogger wordgirl, at 5/10/2006 2:27 PM  

  • I know the feelings you have of him... joining the Army. My youngest returned from a tour in Iraq in January. He's a Marine. I was a basket case the whole time he was gone! I started my basket case in October, when he left for basic.

    He can't have the phone/laptop/ipod at basic, but he will be able to have all of that when he gets to base. So, as stated above. WRITE. WRITE LOTS and WRITE LONG LETTERS! And include newpaper clippings and pictures...LOTS and LOTS of pictures. And a phone card or two.

    Good luck to both of you!

    By Blogger Brenda, at 5/10/2006 6:34 PM  

  • Awww..I just found you via Mrs. Mogul. And what a cute photo!

    Can I say that you look a lot like my ex boyfriend's mother? He's a sweet guy; we had an amicable breakup 6 years ago. But she still asks about me. She's my favorite boyfriend's-mother I've ever had (if that makes any sense).

    Kids are great. I hope to have my own someday!

    By Blogger teahouse, at 5/10/2006 6:53 PM  

  • He's very handsome and I definitely think he looks like you. I'm glad you were able to spend the weekend together. And yes, your hair did look fabulous.

    By Blogger Heather, at 5/10/2006 7:50 PM  

  • What a great post. I think about that with my kids, even my boy who's just a baby now. I always wonder if he'll always seem like my baby even when he's bigger than me. Your boy sounds like he's turned out to be a wonderful man, which means you did many things right!

    By Blogger Renee, at 5/10/2006 9:54 PM  

  • Kudos to you and your boy. He took your advice and went to college even though he wanted to enlistright away, and when he did join the Army, you supported him even though it's breaking your heart. That's a relationship and a son to be proud of.

    Hang in there.

    By Anonymous V-Grrrl, at 5/11/2006 6:08 AM  

  • I definitely see you in him. He's very, very handsome, and yes, your hair looks fabulous. ;)

    This post got me all teary. Hang in.

    By Blogger mama_tulip, at 5/11/2006 10:28 AM  

  • He seems like a cool kid--not surprising considering his super cool mom.

    This must be so bittersweet for you . .hang in there.

    By Anonymous Jess, at 5/11/2006 11:23 AM  

  • What a great tribute to your son, and to you as a mother. I am sad thinking that mine does not have much longer before he's an adult. Happy Mother's Day.

    By Blogger Trish, at 5/11/2006 1:55 PM  

  • I can only imagine what you are going thru right now. I have already started mourning the loss of my oldest sons childhood , yet I still have one more year with him at home before he heads off to college. This is what you have spent all these years preparing him for.....real life and independence. Good for you for accepting and supporting his choices not matter how hard those choices are for you. Seems you have raised a good man and that is not an easy job. Ya done good Debbie.

    By Anonymous Carol, at 5/11/2006 2:53 PM  

  • Oh, wow, this post had me tearing up. This is one of my biggest fears, that one of my babies will want to follow in his father's footsteps and join the Army (my husband was a Ft. Benning for basic, by the way). You should be so proud of him! What a good man you've raised. Prayers for his safety and spirit as he enters into this new chapter of his life.

    By Blogger Melissa, at 5/11/2006 2:59 PM  

  • What a lovely tribute to your son! And what a good mom you are. Like Tink, I'm not a mother, but this post still got to me.

    And yes, your hair looks fantastic in that photo! :-)

    That last paragraph threw me for a loop; I'll definitely be tuning in to read what happened.

    By Blogger Jess Riley, at 5/11/2006 6:00 PM  

  • Thinking of you friend. Your son is a carbon copy of you. I'm sure he inherited your good sense of humor, and your strength. Both will see him well through whatever is coming up for him in the next few years.

    By Anonymous TB, at 5/11/2006 7:18 PM  

  • He looks just like you, Debbie!

    He sounds like he was a great kid who has grown into a fine man. I know you'll miss him this summer; I'll be thinking of you.

    By Blogger Arabella, at 5/12/2006 12:28 PM  

  • He does look like you!!

    Really sentimental post..:)

    By Blogger mrsmogul, at 5/12/2006 4:07 PM  

  • Awwww..what a beautiful pic AND post!

    By Blogger Brooke, at 5/15/2006 7:12 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home