I'm pretty much just going from one thing to the next...trying not to focus on the fact that my son is away, several states away, and I can't call him. I don't know how he's doing, don't know if he's happy. Well, he's at basic training, I'm not sure anyone there is "happy", but I just want to know that he's not miserable. It's a helpless feeling, knowing that really big and scary people are going to be mean to my boy and there is nothing that mama bear can do about it.
He's been gone for 10 days and I've rarely even gone one day of his entire life without at least talking to him. I knew this would happen, that there would be no contact for a while, but it doesn't make it any easier.
Yes, I realize that I am whining and sound all kinds of pathetic.
He tried calling yesterday, around 2pm. His phone number was on the caller ID and when I saw it my heart sank. I missed it. I'm sure he knew we would be at work, but it was probably the only opportunity he had to use his phone. He called his dad too and left him a message saying "tell Mom I love her and everyone", and that made my heart very happy :)
Yes, I realize that I'm being dramatic about this. He's just at basic training, he hasn't died or anything, and he'll be home at Christmas. I've hardly seen him all summer since graduation, so you'd think I'd be used to him being gone. I can't explain why this is so hard for me, except that he's my boy and my mama heart misses him tremendously. It's still so unbelievable to me. He grew up right before my eyes, and yet I feel like it happened overnight. All the people who told me that the years would go by fast - I didn't believe it. Until now, and I find myself telling other moms of young kids the same thing. It did go fast - my baby boy has become a man and in the midst of my "is this really happening?", I couldn't be more proud. I'm proud of who he is - his strength and determination, his sense of humor, his commitment to his people, his growing faith, his desire to do something important with his life. This is a time of celebration! We raised a human from birth to adulthood - and lived to tell about it! And I don't mind saying I think we've done a pretty good job. He's amazing, and I've been enamored with him since before he was born.
Now here I am, watching as my baby boy launches into adulthood and has flown our coop to follow his great big amazing dreams. I am cheering him on and waving with a big lump in my throat, tears on my cheeks, and a heart that still grieves for the childhood I wish I could have given him. It didn't look how I had hoped. I wanted more than anything to give my kids a loving, stable, happy home. I never wanted divorce to be part of our story. I can't explain the pain of seeing my six year old child's heart broken. It changed him. My sweet happy little boy became sad and angry...at least for a time. Oh, he accepted and adjusted and we all made the best of it, and God brought healing...so much healing during those difficult years. But divorce changes you. As a child, and as an adult, it changes you at the core. You get through it and move on, but the effects of tearing a family apart stick , and they recur as maturity happens and understanding grows, and brings with it more questions than answers. Confusion, anger, and sadness can linger and turn into bitterness in a child's heart - or worse yet, apathy. I worry about what effect that experience will have on my boys' lives - the choices they will make as adults, how they'll feel about themselves, their wives, their families, and their faith. I pray that the curse of divorce that seems to be on my family ends with my generation. That my kids and grandkids will never experience it. I pray fervently for that, and often. If generational curses are real, I know they are not inevitable. Not with God. He makes all things new...including the aftermath of the devastation that is divorce.
"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose." - Romans 8:28
I feel a little bit better getting all that out. Maybe now I can let go...let go of the guilt I've been carrying about not being able to give my boys the picture perfect childhood that I dreamt for them. Maybe that's ok? They weren't all that realistic - the expectations and dreams I had when I was a young mother. I've learned through my own experience that we grow in our faith, and cling most to our Father in times of brokenness. God is the restorer of broken things, and that is what He has done for us. In His great wisdom and faithfulness, He made a plan to restore what had been stolen from us all.
"God sets the lonely in families, he leads out the prisoners with singing." - Psalm 68:6.
He gave my boys sisters and more brothers, and another dad to love and guide them through life. Yes, it's messy at times, this crazy blended family of ours. It can be complicated and frustrating and hard...but maybe that's part of the plan? Maybe there is blessing in it not being easy? And maybe, just maybe, that is why my son is now choosing this tough path. The Army is not easy. It will be complicated and frustrating and hard. And maybe that is just the path God has called him to...because He has blessings in mind for my son that he wouldn't learn on an easy road.
Mind blow. There He goes again....turning things around for me. Turning something that I am grieving over into something I am thankful and hopeful about. God is so good at that.