Nick left for Basic Training on January 6th, 2014. As the days were approaching, you might be surprised about what was going through my mind. I am not worried about him. I’m not worried that he will not have a good time or be physically exhausted every day. I am so blessed with a socially and morally sound 20 year old son. He controls his temper, prays frequently and can make friends with everyone.
What I was worried about is whether or not I would cry when he left. That is such a silly thing to worry about but I so desperately wanted to show Nick that I would truly miss and love him. He knows because of my words but I wanted him to see an outward and visible sign that he will remember.
My kids love to see movies that are tear jerkers. Specifically, because they know Mom will cry and no one wants to miss that. No one sheds a tear because all eyes are on me. All the kids, AND my husband, stare at me and wait patiently to see that first tear come down my cheek. Even in the movie theater, there are 4 heads on each side of me, peering and waiting, smiling and wide-eyed. I have to say, it is REALLY annoying. I fight the tears, put my fingers on my lips to control the shaking and hide Kleenex between my legs that I can grab in a fraction of a second.
Darnit! The boy is about to get the girl…..Here come the tears and everyone gets excited.
Mouths drop. Kids are smiling. Dad is giggling. The girls fight to give me the Kleenex.
“NO THANK YOU! I HAVE MY OWN!”
It ruins the whole tearful moment of the movie.
This is why I wanted to cry in front of Nick. I wanted him, THIS TIME, to look at me with that smile. I wanted him to have this moment and leave with the memory of me missing, caring and loving him.
You would think that a mom would cry when her son leaves but I was so happy for him that I was afraid I would be smiling from ear to ear. I had one experience when he got his driver’s license. He was 16 years old and ready to drive off by himself for the first time. I was waving and smiling as he drove away. Then, the smile disappeared and I started filling up with fear. I ran up the sidewalk, screaming, “WAIT! STOP! I CHANGED MY MIND!” But he was gone and I was left by myself 3 houses away. I hope none of the neighbors saw me.
I didn’t want to be too late this time.
It was time to go. He was standing in line to get his bags checked and then disappear for 9 weeks.
I felt the tears coming. My fingers went to my lips and I tried to fight it like I always do. His bags went through the machine. He went to pick them up and he looked up at me for the last time.
He saw me crying like a baby. I was even sniffling and making those crying noises. I lifted up my other hand that was not covering my lips and gave a small wave.
Nick stared at me. I mean, he stared. He watched me cry and then smiled a gentle smile. It wasn’t a smile that I’ve ever seen in any of his selfies. It was a calm and gentle smile that he gives me during the tear jerker movie.
I will never forget that smile. It was beautiful.
Three weeks have gone by and I have been busy with the kids and homework, chores and errands. It is sad to say but I really haven’t felt that ache of missing him. But when I drive up to my mail box to open it up, my heart skips a beat when I see a letter from him. It doesn’t matter what I’m doing. The world stops around me. Hurricanes, tornadoes and screaming children cannot stop me from reading his letters.
He misses us…..and we miss himJ