Sometimes it’s a little difficult being a soldier's mom. He calls and forgets that I work during the day but that’s the only time he has to call. He forgets the time difference. So, now, when he calls, I take my break no matter what time of the day it is or what I am doing, and believe me, right in the middle of reconciling the company bank account or invoicing customers it can take me a while to get back into the work groove. I find that my mind wanders after his phone calls because I’m busy looking at his picture on my desk of him in his uniform on boot camp graduation day. Sometimes he calls early in the morning, and when I say early, I mean 12:45 a.m. (last week to let me know he reenlisted) but today it was 6:20 a.m. and I should have already been awake getting ready for work. He was worried today, he hasn’t been able to get a hold of his wife who I had to drive over to, and wake her up so she would recharge her cell phone to get the call. This is the fastest I have gotten ready in a long time too. So out I ran, wet hair, minimal makeup (I refuse to go out in public without at least mascara) to go wake her up. Thank goodness she just lives a couple of blocks away. He finally got through to her.
When he first enlisted it was hard for me because I knew what was coming with deployment. I wasn’t really thrilled but he has wanted to be a soldier since he was about 3 years old. My daughter-in-law and I flew over to see him graduate from boot camp which was really pretty cool. I was happy to see him and get to a Waffle House again! I miss both of them, but him more of course!!! The whole time though, my stomach was not doing so well. And then the nightmares started. When I say nightmares, what I mean is not really bad dreams but dreams I don’t remember but I would wake up with a wet face from crying in my sleep. A couple of times my youngest son would come in and wake me up because he could hear me talking in my sleep and crying-I didn’t remember a thing of what it was about. I went to the doctor because I was having little ailments for a while. The aching hip, constantly tired, crying for no reason, forgetting what I went to the store for, little things like that. Imagine, being pre-menopausal AND having your baby going through this. So, after bursting out in tears at the doctor's office she prescribed something to help me sleep which I’m happy to say I haven’t had to take for about 7 months. Then there were the panic attacks at night when I would finally relax enough to go to sleep only to be awakened feeling claustrophobic so I used an inhaler once or twice. I found that breathing the cool night air helps a lot. So does meditation.
I think of the days when he was born and in intensive care at Stanford Hospital because of the knot in the umbilical cord and waiting to make sure he would okay. I think of all of the times he played soldier, superman, and with his Thunder Cats. The days of Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts, girlfriends, he and his friends having parties when we would go out of town thinking I didn’t notice how clean the house was when we got home. I think of the times he would fight with his younger brothers just because he could. I miss those days. But now he’s a daddy and I’m a grandma! Time sure flew by quickly. Too quickly.
I look forward to his messages that he emails me when he can, and the phone calls are cherished because I get to hear his voice. He tells me his worries, accomplishments, and what he needs following up with here at home. I tell him I love him and that the Angels are watching over him. No matter what I always tell him that everything is fine here at home. That his brothers are fine, grandma is doing well and we can’t wait to see him. He has enough to do and to worry about.
When he was able to come home last Christmas I was so happy to see him I started crying, so did he. I made everyone wait to open presents because we needed to have the whole family here. At 9:38 p.m. I heard those Army boots pounding up the steps and I was up off the couch reaching for the door just as he was bursting through it! I will never forget that evening. We won’t be able to see him this Christmas but maybe soon after, we’ll see what happens.
So, now I’m not just a mom anymore, I’m also the mom of an American Soldier. I hang my Blue Star Flag in my front window and I couldn’t be prouder!