This little guy left this morning for basic training for the National Guard. He’ll be gone for a total of approximately 7 months. Basic training is only 9 weeks but then he starts his Advanced Individual Training (AIT) immediately afterward. He’ll be in Fort Sill, Oklahoma.
It’s been the plan all along for him to do this; he officially joined the Guard back in May and he’s already gone to the monthly drills. He also has buddies that have recently gone through boot camp. So he knows what to expect. He has remained upbeat, positive and ready to go since May.
But it doesn’t mean I am ready. I was all excited for him too until a few days ago and now I feel like I’ve been punched in the gut and my heart has been ripped out. But it’s all good or that is what I keep telling myself anyway.
No matter how many years have passed by and how many more birthdays he accumulates, he’ll always be my baby. He’s the youngest of my two children. He is the only boy. His daddy passed away when Tyler was a tender age of 8-years old. I remarried. I shipped him off to military school the beginning of his 7th grade. Yeah. I get parent of the century (insert bitter sarcasm). You’ll have to forgive me right but I’m off balance with emotion. While I believe that the decision to send him to military academy was the best thing for him, I will always and forever carry the guilt of feeling like an inadequate parent. That’s just the way it is and will be.
But this is his path now. I wish him well. He leaves home and each day that goes by he will hopefully learn a little more about growing up and being responsible and becoming a man. Each day that goes by in his endeavor a little piece of my heart wilts.
It’s totally selfish on my part to want to keep him here and continue to take care of him (baby him). I know he must leave and do his thing and find things out on his own. But I am not ready.
Good luck Tyler! I love you. And do you remember what we used to say every morning in the car line as I dropped you and your sister off at elementary school?
I know, I know… I’m being all dramatic. He’ll be home for a 2-week break for Christmas. So at least I’ve got that to look forward to. And then when he is done with all of his training, he’ll come back home to attend college or get a job or his third option is to go straight in and go active duty. The point is, he is not leaving for forever!
Thanks for putting up with my sappiness.
CarolAnnMarks.com – A writer with a flighty muse. A blogger, CrossFit newbie, coffee geek, U.S. Navy veteran, and a social media connoisseur.