It's In The "Back Of My Mind"

Discussion in 'Coast Guard Academy - USCGA' started by Laguna, May 3, 2010.

  1. Laguna

    Laguna New Member

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    Now that the fortunate ones have received appointments and the initial emotional state of joy has started to clear. We have to begin to contend with the thought that our beloved son/daughter will be leaving the nest soon.

    As with all of these kids, my swab has been a picture perfect kid. No problems at all, honor student, athlete, etc. etc.. Guess for the parents it would have been easier if the child would have attended the local State University but this have been my swab's dream since grade school and we certainly are proud parents.

    Not only is this going to be a new beginnig for my swab but also for the parents, this is my first one so guess it will be extra difficult to let go.

    Anyway, if any one else out there feels this way, I feel your pain.
     
  2. fairwinds

    fairwinds Member

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    Laguna, your post really hit home for me!

    The appointment has been his goal for many years, thus it became our goal also. But, how that the package has been received and the paperwork is being completed, reality has begun to set in.

    It seems so strange that after him being here with us for 18 years, we only have less than two months left with him. He is ready and we are so proud of him. He has really enjoyed his senior year and I think he is downright sick of me telling him to be careful when he's running, biking, driving, going to Prom, playing softball--just for fun!!

    I am determined that I will not cry at R-day. I feel sorry for my poor husband when we're on our way home!!!
     
  3. officer

    officer Member

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    Laguna,

    This is our first one to leave also. He is so ready and we have really soaked up the time and relished every second with him and his younger brother. I don't know what my emotional status will be like from day-to-day, but when we dropped him off at AIM, and then the rest of the fam went New England touring, I hardly gave him a thought. Not in a bad way, but just that I knew he was soooo ready for this. We ran into another couple during a lighthouse tour who also had their son at AIM, and the Mom was completely beside herself with worry, angst, and just plain 'ol missing her son. Hubby asked son if after leaving the parking lot from AIM if this was for him, and with a big grin on his face, he said, "Yes Sir."

    I know it will probably hit me after we get home and one of my students is truant (he's homeschooled), but we all have complete peace about God opening the doors for him to be chosen for this adventure. However, I could be on here tonight crying my eyes out too. And FYI, this isn't just a woman/mommy thing either with the emotions going haywire. You'll see alot of Dad's on R-day crying like babies I'm certain.
     
  4. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

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    The pollen count in New London reaches an incredible high every R-Day around 415 pm.

    :cool:
     
  5. shellz

    shellz Parent

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    True, true! Even Dad's who never had allergy issues were seen blowing their noses and wiping their eyes. Weird, right? :cool:

    To all who wait...IMHO CGA does an AMAZING job of helping you feel ok about leaving your kid. We were a tiny bit weepy after the swearing in, but more excited about the journey that was about to begin. The two weeks before R-Day were the worst...too much time to think and ruminate on what this new future of his was going to look like, and how it would affect our family.

    Bottom line...almost 11 months later and we couldn't be happier, son couldn't be happier. Life is Good!
     
  6. CenTex Dad

    CenTex Dad Member

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    As stated in this forum often, and it is quite true: CGA wants your young man/woman and they know what they are doing every step of the way transitioning them into a cadet. And also transitioning the parents, as well. The thing that made it so easy to leave son there on R-day was knowing that he was with the best kids in the whole country. My wife only got a little misty eyed!
     
  7. Islander

    Islander Member

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    Excellent. I may need a good cover story for watery eyes. As with most dads, any pollen irritations will be due to an overwhelming amount of pride rather than worry.
     
  8. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    Take a nice relaxing vacation before R-day, if you can. It will stand out in your swabs minds as the last real vacation of his/her high school lives. Still remember my little trip to FL with the family and my good friend from high school.
     
  9. robin820

    robin820 Member

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    We travelled to New England from Florida a few days early and had a little mini-vacation in Boston prior to dropping of our son, Class of 2012. It was a great for the four of us to spend some time together and, actually, it was the last trip we could take together since he began CGA.
    R-day was rough, especially the last 15 minutes. I was a wreck when we left the next morning.
    Swab Summer is hard, with virtually no contact from your son/daughter, but rest assured they are being taken care of, and they,and you, will get through it!
    On a positive note, he is our youngest and it was our 25th wedding anniversary that year, so my husband took me on a 7-day cruise in August! It was like a little reward for all of the many years of parenting!
    Good Luck to all of the 2014 Swabs and their Parents!
    You are all in for a wonderful and exciting experience!
     
  10. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    Another bit of advice....

    Your swab is going to worry about you. Let them know you'll be fine and are looking forward to all of their stories the next time you see them. Remind them you're proud of them and support them. Smile, hug.

    Stay strong in front of them....you can cry all day long, but try not to in front of your swab. Let them know it's a stepping stone, not the be all, end all event it seems to be in their minds.
     
  11. hopeful1

    hopeful1 Member

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    Laguna,
    I understand how you feel. This is our firstborn and the tidal wave of emotions is underway at our house. The timeline went something like this for us parents:biggrin:

    Preparing paperwork for AIM: " Wow, this is alot of paperwork to fill out for a summer camp( haha)":redface:
    Recieving turn down letter for AIM : "What?!?! Disappointment all around.:frown:
    Recieving phone call and letter to attend AIM ( the next week): YEA!!!!:biggrin:
    Checking in at AIM: "What?!?! You mean my DS won't get to call me this week? (First dose of reality for this mom)
    Picking up son at end of AIM: Wow......look at that posture...look at DS's sense of accomplishment. Maybe he really does understand what he's trying to get into.
    Starting senior year "Who, What ,When , Where, Why and HOW MUCH MONEY do you need" (Apply the above questions throughout the senior year)
    Beginning the EA paperwork" Wow, this is alot of paperwork" Starting to realize how proud we are of DS attempting to fufill his goals.
    Waiting....:unhappy:more waiting:unhappy:
    Opening the mailbox to find an EA package....Tears of pride, joy and excitement.
    Fast forward to the end of April. REALITY.........:redface:
    Our son is really going away(many states away...). The countdowns begin. :eek:

    For myself, the sense of pride is accompanied by a touch of sadness. Change is inevitable, but it doesn't make it easier. Our role as a parent is shifting once more into unknown territory. So I will be hanging up my apron, strings and all very soon. It is a bit worn now from wiping up tears, fixing skinned knees, playing ref during sibling fights, and making cookies. The strings are stretched and knotted from worrying during those first few driving lessons and curfew duty; while the pockets no longer hold the favorite bedtime stories and prized toys. When our children are born, most of us want to give them "the world". I have enjoyed watching my child grow into the young man he is today, and I am so very excited that he is getting all of the opportunities to have the whole world in so many ways. To see how excited he is, reminds me that my wish and prayer from 18 years ago has been answered. To all of our children...go enjoy your world. You deserve it.
     
  12. Argos

    Argos Parent, Class of 2014

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    Bittersweet

    Hopeful,

    Thanks for the words.

    I think we all feel the same bittersweet mix of overwhelming pride and joy and the commensurate sadness and grief. I cannot express it well enough herein (...pause for this sudden wave of pollen that just hit me), but I will try.

    It is love that I feel for the child I helped raise, my son, my friend; and whom I will sorely miss. But, it is love by which I send him out to protect and defend our beloved country despite my selfish feelings to keep him close. It is his dream, his choice, and I truly know it is absolutely the right thing for him. I also know all too well how far Alabama is from Connecticut, but we will not be alone. And I have to believe it will make those moments we can share all the more special.

    It is clear the Academy wants our children and they are determined to mold them into responsible adults and turn them into leaders. I know he will be in good hands. I believe in his work ethic, his desire, and his dream. So, with love I send him off.

    We have two more at home. One will not likely admit how much she will miss her brother until he is gone. The other is perhaps too young, and I fear he will not understand why his big brother is not there at the dinner table or there to play soccer with him. Nevertheless, it is time to cut our oldest loose. The door has been opened. It is time for him to fly. And, I know, when he can... he will return.

    Argos

    Proud Parent, USCGA Class of 2014

    54 days and counting...
    Bittersweet for the parents...
    A dream come true for a son...
     
  13. plmmar

    plmmar Member

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    Ditto to all the above.
    I will say that I have some amazing letters that ds wrote when unable to call or email-makes it all worth it. Wait 'til you get yours.
     
  14. shellz

    shellz Parent

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    Oh yes....I have two (two!! for a kid who NEVER once wrote from summer camp!) saved for posterity. In one he describes the overwhelming emotions on the 4th of July when they are read The Ragged Old Flag (yup, Johnny Cash :cool:) as they carefully learned to fold their new flags. He said it was the first fourth of July that actually meant more than bbq's and fireworks. WOW. That sent shivers up my spine!

    Oh, and the swab summer journal was amazing too...son was happy to share it with us and it gave such a picture of what he went through. These kids (umm, young adults) are truly our nation's best and brightest!
     
  15. officer

    officer Member

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    We are going backpacking through the Sierra's in 3 weeks, so please keep son in your prayers about not getting injured. He loves wilderness survival stuff, and this is what he wanted to do for his senior trip before R-day.

    We will soak it all up as our last family trip while he's still with us at home. I keep thinking about his future visits home, CGA graduation, and where he'll be serving after graduation to keep me from fixating on R-day. I've always reminded them that this life is a blink of an eye and to keep their eye on the big scope of eternity. That's when the family time will never end, and it will be one huge family time celebration. :thumb: -officer
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2010
  16. Argos

    Argos Parent, Class of 2014

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    An Ode to My Son

    A Father’s Pride (An Ode to My Incoming Cadet)
    By Argos
    5 May 2010

    My son grew up strong and willful, but filled with love and joy
    He had a dream of grand significance, my stoic little boy
    Service was his calling; to protect and to defend
    The Constitution and our country; a story without end

    The dream came upon him slowly, building all the while
    Knowing there was a goal in mind, he went the extra mile
    The dream continued to evolve with each and every day
    A path was set before him, and he knew he found his way

    Soon the paperwork was submitted, but unbearable the wait
    Then to see his dreams now realized I watched his fears abate
    Reporting day is weeks away, in part I start to mourn
    But I knew this day would soon be here from the day that he was born

    My little boy has become a man; he sought the high road out
    For to seek to be his very best is what it’s all about
    His peers remain unfocused. His path is crystal clear
    Devotion to duty, to protect all that he holds dear

    For him to take the challenge, and not settle for something less
    Takes hard work and dedication, and courage without redress
    The defense of our coast and homeland, the battle must be won
    And for the young man who is my son, his story has just begun

    Semper Paratus
    Argos
    Proud Parent, USCGA Class of 2014
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2010
  17. bossf51

    bossf51 Parent

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    Nice job, Argos, good to see the Dad's perspective on here.:smile:
     
  18. disey3

    disey3 Member

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    Argos....very nice read......:shake:
     
  19. momofacgcadet

    momofacgcadet Member

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    Tissues all around...Gosh Argos, that was truly touching:wink: My cadet is getting ready to graduate in a couple weeks and I still feel some of the sentiments expressed in the poem. I'm off to go blow my nose and dry my eyes. That was really wonderful, thanks.
     
  20. officer

    officer Member

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    Argos,

    You are such a talented writer; this poem is so wonderful. I can really feel what you're expressing. I think with trying to wrap up the end of the school year and planning a hiking trip, I've not felt the full impact yet. But your poem was just beautiful and is taped onto my computer monitor.

    I was watching, yet again, the "Making of an Officer" DVD last night for the first time since son got his appointment. I saw it in a completely new way. Rather than hopeful and anxious for the opportunity, I was so proud of my son and sad at the same time. I was thinking of when he was little and the adventures we used to have, and how he used to see me as the ultimate question answerer, protector, and story-teller--now it's just the opposite.

    He is going away to experience different adventures where Mom can't go and to become part of a different family. Although he is ready, I will never be. He has worked so hard for this never knowing if it would result in his dream, but he stayed with it never waivering.

    My son has been my teacher all along, and I am going to miss him more than I can express or allow myself to feel--it's just too painful. -officer
     

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