Bittersweet

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by blackhawkmom, Apr 14, 2010.

  1. blackhawkmom

    blackhawkmom Member

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    Ok for you who understand ----how can I be torn between immense pride and unbearable worry. I know my son and I am very proud of his past and future accomplishments but this not seeing him is going to kill me! Suggestions to make the time pass quicker and for my sanity? Unlike going off to a state college or private one this is going to be so different than the ideas I had for a typical college student. We are over 7 hours away so Saturday visits will be virtually impossible-flight plans etc are beginning to sound overwhelming-restrictions and little contact sounds cruel to me (of course not him he understands the reasons why and is probably kinda looking forward to it). He is so anxious to go and all I can do is look at him like a crazy woman trying to watch and keep everything close for the next few weeks. It's making him laugh at me on a daily basis--he's even walking down the middle of the hallway and getting up by 6am-saluting me when ever I call him or sneaking up behind me and standing at attention-lol -but it's my prerogative isn't it! You raise them to be great people just to send them off to a college that unravels them and puts them back together! I am so blessed and proud and I know it's selfish but ---wow it's really beginning to hit me!
     
  2. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    Blackhawkmom - you are not alone. Facing the empty (or emptier) nest is daunting regardless of how far away your child is. You will adjust and so will he.
    After Plebe summer he can call you whenever he has time - there is no phone call restriction.
    Aside from that here are a few suggestions:

    1. Get a hobby.
    2. Join your parent's club.
    3. If you can plan a weekend and visit for a football game. A 7 hr drive with two people is really not bad.
    4. Go to USNA games in NC. I think they play Wake and Duke nearly every year - check the schedule and maybe he can get orders to go.
    5. Keep a journal.
    6. Understand that logical reasoning - you have done your job well (too well?!) vs emotional reasoning - you never want him to leave; are completely separate and not easily intertwined.
    7. Take a deep breath. Just a minute ago he was in 8th grade. :wink:
     
  3. goaliedad

    goaliedad Parent

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    And while your son "salutes" you now to remind you of the coming parting, I'm sure he will be misty-eyed on the day you leave him there.

    While mine will not be SA or SMC sequestered at college, mine will be 14.5 hours from home next fall, which strangely enough is closer than the 16 hours (in a different direction) she's been the past 4 years at boarding school. So my frequency of visitation will not be much different going forward - 2 weekend visits, 1 week at Thanksgiving, 2 at Christmas, and 2 in the spring. And only 43 days until we get to see her again...

    I can say that while it doesn't get any easier dropping her off, you learn to value the time you have together so much more with the experience.
     
  4. PositiveThinking

    PositiveThinking Member

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    Blackhawkmom - I'm feelin' it too!!! :wink: I think my main job right now is to put on a happy face (because I am so happy for my son) and not give in to the temptation to wallow. He's our 2nd child, so we've already experienced the "empty nest" with our daughter two years ago. Still, she's less than 3 hours away and comes home a couple of times a semester! Having a child go to USNA, or any of the service academies, will be much different. We've warned our youngest that now the spotlight of parental attention will be focusing directly on him, and he's ready to run for the hills! :eek: :biggrin:
     
  5. blackhawkmom

    blackhawkmom Member

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    Just a mom --thanks I've started on my list of busy things to do ---the parents network in NC is about 2 hours away so it may be difficult to join.
    goaliedad-I can feel your pain but i guess it is as though they graduated from college and received a job across the country -maybe that's a way to look at it for me anyway
    Positive thinking---tell me our oldest is at college for two years now-but she chose to go to a school 45 mins away! she has been home any time she wanted and has been at most of her brothers school functions for the last two years. she has already been warned she needs to be at my beckon call when mom just needs a hug---she is working it let me tell you ---telling her bro she always wanted to be an only child. They are really close tho so i think it will hit her pretty hard too.
     
  6. MJOmom

    MJOmom Member

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    write your kid ... every day is ok ... especially over the summer. we had lots of people writing to him too ... and he actually missed us enough to write to us! We received a dozen letters or post cards. we sent pre-printed, pre-addressed postcards to him in the first care package ... we had check off boxes: I am alive ... barely ... today was better/good/awful/worst, ... it was sunny/raining ... etc ... always had a funny one in there too ...

    PPW was wonderful and awful ... because he had to go back in ... we talk with him a once or twice a week now ... sometimes for ages ... it is still incredibly tough ... we have 2 more at home ... so we do stay busy, but it's different. our dinner conversation is different too ...
     
  7. blackhawkmom

    blackhawkmom Member

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    Confession time-----I'm very involved with BSA and am the FOS chair. tonight i had to do a presentation to a scout troop about what scouting has meant to my family. (My husband and son are Eagle Scouts and OA Vigil members)So I'm clicking right along and get to the part where I'm expressing to the young Boy Scouts how important the lessons they are learning are and what Eagle Scout can mean on your resume when applying to colleges and for scholarships and I lost it! I totally lost it . I was so embarrassed. Luckily the two Scoutmasters are friends of mine and know my son and knew about his recent appointment so they kinda took over until i composed myself. Never lost it like that before. wow i guess since it was the first time I have mentioned it in public it kinda made it more real. anyway -thanks for letting me confess. I'm working on it I promise.
    Confessed to husband and son when i got home i knew they would hear about it anyway---they of course laughed.
     
  8. rkrosnar

    rkrosnar Member

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    Just remember the end result and the mature young man, he will become over the next 4 years. The huge smile you and your husband will have each and everyday, you think of him and what he will become and presence he will show. He will be among the best and the brightest in the country.

    Tell him, from me thanks for his service to our country
    God Bless him and God Speed

    RGK
     
  9. GoNavyMom

    GoNavyMom Member

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    Blackhawkmom,

    It does take a while to put into perspective what your child is choosing to do with his life. My daughter was inducted into USNA on July 1, 2009. I still get weepy, am still distracted and sometimes still wonder what it would be like if she went to a "normal college." I still check this forum way too many times a day (have learned so much about what to expect and what she will be going through).

    Seven hours isn't all that far for you to make an occasional visit. I live about four hours away and learned this year that Annapolis can be a day trip if necessary.

    The times apart or the days when they are too busy to talk, I tell myself that this is preparing them and us for what it will be like when they are fullfilling their service commitment. When my daughter was seven years old and wanted to go to sleep away camp for the first time, her dad thought she was too young to go but she was determined to go. I packed my bag, signed up as a counselor and off we went. I know this is not quite the same (though sometimes I wish it was). There are many ways to be involved and supportive - send care packages, cards, jokes, visit this forum, USNA.net, parents club (some events will be worth the drive). It does get easier after plebe summer. I found e-mail and text messaging to be great ways to keep in touch. The time passes and before you know it you will be planning a trip for Herndon.

    Enjoy the ride.

    GoNavyMom
     
  10. jennyp

    jennyp Parent

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    blackhawkmom: Many of us sympathize. My son is a plebe at USNA and he really likes it. A lot. And I miss him. A lot. I can work up a good cry just about anytime.

    I cope by staying busy, leaning on his older brother who is in vet school a bit more than I might otherwise (he is 600 miles away, but I can call him easier!), doing the chat thing on facebook with my MIDN when he is on, looking at photos on USNA website and several dropshots pages of parents who take pictures and upload them (I feel connected that way...just knowing what is going on...)

    Let's see, what else: Oh, I have google for my home page thing on the internet and have Annapolis weather as one of the 3 places I keep track of: my home, A-town, and College Station, TX where older brother is! Oh yeah, and keeping up with current news of candidates and mids on this forum!

    We are very secure in knowing that he is where he wants to be. That in and of itself brings a good deal of peace of mind to a parent. I have come to the conclusion that it is not only our children who are "growing up!":thumb:
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2010
  11. jennyp

    jennyp Parent

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    Thought of another antecdote to feeling lonely, sad, proud, etc all at once: begin gathering items for those important plebe summer care packages. I sent a letter or card or postcard every day. Every day. Most with a photo, recent or from his childhood included. I made it a mission to seek out funny, inspirational cards all spring. I sent one care package a week during plebe summer. Now I am down to one a month. It is possible to overwhelm them with too many goodies and too much stuff!

    Here's another idea.......I have had some health challenges including congestive heart failure and thyroid cancer the last two years. Husband and I decided to get into better shape and we are running. Inspired by both my boys........Anyway, one of my inspirational songs on my ipod is "Anchors Aweigh!" I find myself straightening up and walking tall and proud when that one comes on!

    Oh, the funny ways we parents find to stay connected!
     
  12. NavIss58

    NavIss58 Member

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    didn't you guys get that loaner notification with their birth certificate, the one that said "loaned for 18 years, or 12 years of primary school, which ever comes first, after which the loan becomes a certificate of achievement for a job well done and at which time son/daughter become their own person".

    No, neither did I. :frown:

    Good thing my garden is pretty well established.
     
  13. blackhawkmom

    blackhawkmom Member

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    too funny Naviss58---and we never got our instruction book when he was born either!
     

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