If you would have told me twenty years ago that the choices my children make as an adult will impact my way of life, I would have said, “No, it won’t!” See, before I had children, I thought all you had to do was provide undying love, nourishment, install values, redirect, correct and then let go as they grow up. After having children I realized there is so much more to it. First, I will never, ever let go. Yup, I’m that kind of mom. Holding on with vice-grips until my hands fall off. Second, realized I don’t like this growing up thing either. I mean, it makes you proud to see your child making independent decisions. It makes you proud to realize they are smarter than you, even though you never admit it. It also makes you proud to see you have done well with guiding your child. This is especially true if you are a single parent.
However, as your child become truly independent you realize no one ever prepared you for the next steps to come. I must admit, I have had to lean on my faith more now that my son is an adult then when he was younger. I never thought I would refer to my nineteen year old son as an adult. But, he is! He is a young man who made the decision to join the military because he wanted to, not because he felt it was a “way out”. He is a young man who chose to take an assignment in South Korea because he want to see the world and experience other cultures. He is a young man that is supporting himself and carrying his own health and life insurance. In my book, he is an adult. However, this young man still calls his mom at lease once a week because he does not want her to worry too much or freak the $*%& out! Why didn’t anyone prepared me for this?
Okay, enough with the rambling….. With this being said, his decision has affected me in more ways than I thought. I worry more about him now than I did when he was a teenager. It can be really hard expressing how you feel because people that aren’t in your shoes do not understand. Here are a few ways I handle dealing with the stress and worry of my Air Force son:
Join military parent groups
Call him as much as possible
Establish a schedule so I never miss his video chats
Send him care packages
Talk with his siblings because they can relate
Ask him/her to create a YouTube channel so you can see what they are experiencing
Create a blog so they feel like they know what’s going on in your life
Pray for their safety and place it in God’s hands
Understand it was his choice and know he is happy with it
I understand first hand that the journey is not easy. But nothing great ever is. I will admit, it took me some time to be okay, and I still have my days. (His birthday, Thanksgiving and Christmas were the hardest) I am very proud of my son and respect his decision. I love seeing the man he is becoming and can now say, “I am proud that my son made me a Military Parent.” Hell, I’m happy he gave me this title instead of grandma!