T minus 3 days until I get in the car and drive to Chicago to see my only son graduate from boot camp. He’s almost 19 years old and wow! It has been a ride.
All I’ve ever wanted to do is raise a good man. I didn’t have a brother, or a Dad, or even a Grandpa as a positive male role model when I was growing up. I didn’t have any male role models. They say a girl’s first love is her Dad but my Father bailed on me when I was 6. My mother re-married, but out of her husbands, 2 are now dead and 2 are MIA. To be fair, one never had a chance. He was the one I told “you’re not my dad and I don’t have to listen to you”. So when he and my Mom split up it wasn’t any great loss in my life. The one guy that stuck around and made me realize what it felt like to have a Dad died last year.
|D at 5 months old|
D was “Grampa’s boy”. Grampa was the only one that could soothe my son when he would scream for hours with colic. I had my kids young so they have never had the ideal life (but to be honest, who does?). I had my son and all I ever wanted for him was to grow up to be a good man.
|D at 18 months old|
I was a young mom and we had some bumpy times, and once in a while it would end up being me and Bubby looking at each other like “now what??”. As the years went by and I learned more about how to be a better mom, I did better for my kids. And truthfully, with each subsequent child I learned more and did better. Because with the first one you sterilize anything and everything that might come within 50 feet of the kid. With the second one, you rinse it off if it hits the ground, and by the third one…eh, you figure they’ll be all right pretty much in spite of what you do. So I did a little better with my son than with his older sister, but not quite as well as I did with his baby sister.
|D at 6 years|
I didn’t have the kind of little boy that went running through the house, shooting bad guys and tracking mud. He wasn’t the typical sports/cars kind of noisy little boy. He didn’t build forts in his room, but he did build “boogie traps”. He was quieter and preferred to play with his cars and and build stuff with Lego’s. As he got older, it was books and robots and building electronics circuits.
D and I had some bumpy years. Tough years. “I emptied out his room” years. I kept telling myself that all I wanted was to raise a good man. There were times I might have thrown up my hands and thought “UGH how is this possible??”.
But we made it. He’s amazing. And I’m not just saying that because he’s my only son and I’m his Mom and I have some kind of bias or something.
He’s grown up to be a smart, sweet, funny guy. He can make me laugh until I have tears rolling down my face, especially when he’s “reviewing” a movie. He’s a good man. He believes in honor and courage. He faces things that scare him and does them anyway. He’s kind and believes in chivalry. He believes in protecting those he loves. He’s amazing at math and I’m proud to see my little science geek having grown up into a man that uses all those things in his new career as an Electronics Tech in submarines.
Nineteen years ago I was living in Huntsville, Alabama and I had just turned 20. I was in my last trimester and I had no idea how much my life was about to change. My only son has now grown up. We made it through some tough years and I have watched him turn into a smart, honorable man that I couldn’t be more proud of.
This week I’ll be watching him graduate into another phase of his life. He’s now a United States Sailor. The next time I see my boy, he will be in uniform.
How the years fly by!