Reality slapped me in the face a couple of weeks ago. The reality of being a military family that is at the mercy of their timetable.
My son’s first duty station to Turkey wasn’t supposed to happen until February or March. So needless to say it came as quite a shock to our family when the day after he graduated training from Security Forces, he called to let me know that he was leaving the next day for Turkey.
As the words came out of his mouth, I nearly stopped breathing. This was my warning, just one day? There went our plans to go down to Texas to visit him one last time in February.
Feeling a lack of control is nothing new to moms. There are many moments in raising our children where this occurs.
It happens when our children are sick, the first day we send them off to school, when they spend a week away at summer camp and the list goes on. And it’s definitely a part of raising teenagers, as we venture toward that time when they eventually leave the nest.
There was absolutely nothing I could do, except say goodbye. And let him know that I would be thinking about him (so much so that I wouldn’t be able to sleep) and praying for safe travels.
I don’t think it’s any surprise that the next few days were incredibly difficult for me. But I can’t really complain because this mom lucked out.
Since my son wasn’t able to use his cell phone anymore (without incurring thousands of dollars in phone bills), he was smart enough to find an app on his iPod where he could call ($1 for every 44 minutes) and text. So thanks to the advances in technology (that I sometimes complain about), he was able to contact me when he arrived at the airport Istanbul,Turkey.
Now thousands and thousands of miles away, I truly realize that my days as a mom who controls the circumstances of my son’s life have vanished…I am no longer in control. This leads into the difficult (but I have to admit somewhat freeing task) of watching him take the reins on his own life.