Warning. If you know me well, grab a tissue. Here we go. Yesterday, I walked into Chase’s room after work and stopped to pick up the towels that I knew were lying on the floor “because of faulty towel hooks.” As I entered the room, I glanced at the person lying on the bed watching the television: Who on earth is that? When did this happen? He’s no longer my little boy, but a young man.
To borrow a friend’s phrase – HELLLLLLO? WHAT HAPPENED HERE? I need a few minutes to catch up – head is spinning a bit. My hand is being forced a bit and if you know me, that’s NEVER good. Time to “Mommy-Up.” I know that I have let go of the kid who was caught between two worlds — of kid and adulthood. But wait, I’ve already said good-bye once to the kid that went off to A&M. I got over it quickly as he was AWESOME at calling at about the same time every day and came home often enough. This is different now, a punch in the gut kind of different.
What happened to the:
- the fat baby whose entire body fit neatly on my arm even with his rather large head?
- the cheeky, happy toddler who went everywhere in camo clothes, with a watch on carrying Winnie the Pooh or Woody from Toy Story?
- the mild, mannered school-age kid who chose a solitary sport (swimming) and only wanted to train, and not necessarily to compete?
- the 10 year old so excited to get a Red-Rider and wanted to shoot everything in sight.OH WAIT…I know where that one is.
- the young boy that wanted someone – ANYONE – to go into the woods and explore everything just for the sake of it, and “mom would do” as a partner?
- the teenager that gave me FITS….of laughter post-emergency appendectomy with the “I left my underwear in the storage unit” comments.
- the dog/duck/python/hamster-loving, Chinese water dragon maintaining , albino corn snake housing kid?
- the teenager that hides his siblings stuff, just so he can coerce them in a game of hide-n-seek?
- the high school kid that “threatened” this friends about staying away from his sister?
- the “fluorescent green” wearing (suit, glasses, you name it) swimmer/coach/friend who could care less that some poked fun of him for his color choices
- the Aggie Corps of Cadets college kid who really enjoyed the confines of being in the corps…
Each and every stage of childhood through young adulthood coupled with motherhood delivered its own set of new challenges and headaches, but with that was a certain level of excitement. And with that, I’m sure all moms would agree (with the exception of the colicky times), I mourned the loss of the stages left behind.
Just a few years ago, I begged for just one more summer of no jobs and no responsibility other than getting to swim practice and meets on time which never bothered me or Chase for that matter. I longed to be the important one in his life – not the girlfriend, the phone OR “the truck.” Inevitably, he moved on to the next stage of life. He grew. And I guess I grew with him. I sort of had to. It was hang on or totally get left behind.
As a mom of 3, I can look back and see how wonderful it’s been. I see all the growth, maturity and direction for the most part. I’m so proud of my kids. But through the process, who really grew?
I count my blessings as he still kisses me goodnight and says, “Love ya,” before going to bed or when he’s getting off the phone, every single time regardless of who is around. I’m lucky he let me hang out until the wee-hours of the morning one night recently, with “the crew,” and they were in FINE FORM, I might add. He lets me scratch his head or back while watching television. Deep down I know it’s for my comfort, but he’ll end up with a girl that does the same thing….trust me.
mature level and I’m proud to say he has a firm, grasp of his political views… and they are clearly his, not mine, because we don’t agree on everything. He still can’t keep his room clean for the life of him, but for the most part, he’s all grown up, moving on, and leaving his childhood behind as he reaches for that “next step.” That’s the plan, right? A parental goal: to parent them to the next step – the next level.
And in a FLASH…I’m out of the game.
Clearly emotions are running VERY HIGH these days with the loss of my sweet mom 3 weeks ago and now, Chase. “Losing him” might be a bit strong, but I feel like that’s what’s going on. The United States Marine Corps will be his “new mom.” And you know what, that’s great. God bless him; however, the days of loosey-goosey house rules, dorm rules, curfews and even “truck rules” are gone for him and there’s not one thing I can do to help him now. And I have to deal with that.
So back to the hard question: WHO GREW UP? The logical question here is – we both did. For the most part, I’ve done my job with Chase and I’m proud of who he’s become and the Marines are lucky to have him. That being said, I have prayed over this “USMC decision” so much that my head is spinning. The tears have flown and will continue to flow for a long, long time I’m sure. It’s a sort of mourning process I guess. The anger has passed. The denial set in, and still there a bit, but it’s happening this weekend, so there’s no use in spending any more time in that stage. So what’s next? To all that are praying for him – THANK YOU for that. But just for him? That’s just not enough. I’m going to ask for more.
Pray for our country. Pray for our Leadership…it’s NOT good right now. In this political and presidential election year, pay attention. Don’t pick the lesser of the evils. Really pay attention. Where does your preferred choice really stand on the tough issues. Look at the ENTIRE picture. Not just taxes for those working vs those that aren’t. Not just abortion rights or LGBT rights. Not just for those that are a bit different. Not just about the economy…okay, we all need to concentrate on that one.
EVERYONE should have the right to happiness. What about safety? What about the citizens of the United States of America – are we really safe? Is it a US-given right to be safe? What about the KIDS fighting and protecting us, over here, Stateside? Are they kept safe while they protecting other countries?
I’m not telling you what I think or what you should think, but I would request that you really study these “career politicians,” “big mouths” – that can’t control their every thought, and the “law breakers.” Did I cover them all? I personally don’t think ANY OF THEM can be trusted – and the choices aren’t that great. Individual groups going after ONE THING will continue to fight and always will continue to do so as long as they are kept SAFE and their right to speak stay intact – but what about the WHOLE of us? Pick good folks. And freakin’ vote. Make it happen. Get out and vote. Vote for yourself. Vote for the WHOLE. Vote for my kid……..
Prayers for more boy are much appreciated. God Bless you to my oldest, my baby, my duck-hunting, truck-driving, great big brother, Aggie of a kid! Proud of you Chase…..always!
Rant of emotions is over. For now. Okay …. Probably not for a long while. Hug your babies. Hug your family. Hug your friends.