Imagine – bring a young girl full of life’s possibilities and at 19 years old she has a baby on her hip saying Goodbye to his Father. Imagine it, you are a single parent. I haven’t written about him in a long time because it has no relevance to today’s events, but a scar still remains. Obviously, that girl was ME. He told me a tale of the short term plan being with the air guard and having just graduated from college and then a short air force stint to become an Officer and then we were free for him to fly as an airline pilot! Wow, was I excited! Until your guy, my guy believes he is the real deal and let’s go full time AirForce baby! Wow. AirForce pilots are mainly stationed in one place, great for a family right? Except NO, the AirForce deploys mainly of their pilots TDY. For those that don’t know, it’s temporary duty assignment…aka….Your guy is gone, he has decided AirForce/Country over you. It is an unstoppable, unspeakable, and lonely existence . Especially for you are a very young Officer’s wife/Mother, it doesn’t matter what you or the baby need. I’m not trashing our AirForce, or any of the other military community. In fact, I applaud any other wife/husband that can knowing give over your spouse. But more importantly your child.
The boy you raised by yourself, wants to be like him. In my worst nightmares, I can tell several scenarios.
1. Your child comes in as normal from community college, but a bit earlier and you say, “where were you?” – I dropped out of classes Mom, and I’ve joined the Army. “WHAT????” Infantry division Mom. (After being peeled off the floor) my husband says, it’s probably for the best, he doesn’t know what he wants to do with his life.
So, let Afganistan kill him? (I’m not clear on the months that followed or even much of his class graduation, except Pilot Dad is posing for pictures with the young man I raised.)
Next I remember going to Hawaii to spend a week and then he would be off within days of us. I remember being present, but I wasn’t. Anything to distract myself of what was actually about to happen (I think I read 2 books in 4 days). He was thinking I was distracted, he never knew how terrified I was, it was time to pull back and let him to it. He takes us the the Airport (big suprize, pilot Dad never shows?). Step-Dad always there – every milestone – driving, girls, pot, friends, graduation – step-dad is always there.
The agony of a Mother’s heart gets worse. Her baby boy, her youngest is about to leave the nest. All you can think of is that little precious boy that would fall asleep while snuggling with you and dog on the couch. You have more pictures on your phone of that than anything. The innocence, that great pure love, and a blonde headed boy who trots home from school everyday. He laughs, he smiles, and your entire world is forever changed.
It no longer matters that you didn’t get to be free, to be young, to be irresponsible. You just are. That young blonde boy heals your heart of so many things. You nursed him through a bad day at school, through a cold, through his first heart break by a girl. Your heart breaks too because seeing him cry is worse than death. Then he starts getting acceptance letters to college. It’s all happening all over again. As a Mother, you want them to succeed, you want them to have the best life. You are financially stable, educated, and have a wonderful husband. This husband although he has done so much work as well, still doesn’t feel in his heart what you do. Even biological Father’s do not understand the torture of another love to move on. That is the curse of having all boys. In the end another woman gets them. By this time you have forgotten who you are as a person.
Where is that once footloose girl who wanted so many things? She did accomplish many things, but the future of what to do next remains unclear.
It’s something to think about. My boys will surely know this is about them. I adore all three. The last to leave the nest stings the most. This is the natural evalution of life, the circle of life where Mom waits in the middle. She loves you so.