My son is in the army and has been stationed over on the west coast for almost three years. There was a nine-month stint in which he was in Afghanistan stationed with a bunch of their special forces doing training. I don’t think I slept well for most of that time.
I miss him a lot!
Ty has wanted to join the army since he was in sixth grade at which time I received an email from a recruiter addressed to my son telling him how to get into the Special Forces. I was not amused, to say the least. Especially since we always told him not to give personal information over the Internet. His response? “I didn’t give them my personal information, I gave them yours.” Such is the workings of my sons mind.
There was a point when I thought he might make a career out of the army, but now it seems that the army is too much “stupid” as he describes it. Frankly, I think he just doesn’t like to be bossed around everyday. He’s always been a very independent soul. I raised him that way. And yes, it has bit me in the butt from time to time.
Still, overall he is a good kid with a big heart.
Okay, so he doesn’t have a very good sense of time and he tends to forget birthdays and Mother’s Day, even though they are on the same day every year. I often send a text late in the afternoon of either of those days saying something like, “Guess my card and present have been lost in the mail again, huh?” To which I get a hasty phone call.
Phone calls aren’t his favorite thing either. Ever since he was a little boy he has hated talking on the phone. You are lucky if you get a grunt or some such noise in response to a question, so calls don’t usually last much longer than five minutes. Still, it’s the best five minutes of my day.
What can I say? I’m a mom. I will love my son unconditionally no matter how many times he forgets my birthday or Mothers Day or Christmas.
The end of his active duty comes up this summer and he must make some pretty big decisions in the coming months. Reenlist, get out, but stay out west, or come home.
A part of me wants him to come home. I realize he’ll have to stay with me for a while until he gets on his feet and that may be hard for him (and me). There will be rules and if he thinks the rules in the army are stupid I can only imagine what he’ll think of mine. The perfect scenario would be for him to move next door or at least close by. Some place where he can have his independence, but close enough so I can bring him a hot cooked meal once in a while.
I realize I have to let him take charge of his own life and perhaps the fact that he has been so far away for these last few years has been good for both of us. Not only is he enjoying his independence, but so am I. I no longer have to plan meals around when the kids will be home, I don’t have to ensure that they have changed the sheets on their bed or that they have washed their bath towels more than once a month. If they want to keep dirty dishes under their bed, so be it. Spend the entire day inside playing military video games, not my issue.
I love being an empty nester and all the freedom that entails. But I also miss my son and can’t wait to give all six foot three of him a big hug when he comes home.