As I get ready to step off the plane and onto the tarmac I realize I am scared to death. How will I keep my composure? How do we talk about the looming elephant in the room without bursting into tears each time we discuss it? How do I even begin to explain to him that while all I want to do is wrap him in my arms and keep him safely tucked in my pocket forever, I have never been more proud of him in my entire life?
My son leaves on his first deployment. Going to a place where no one will be planning a fun filled family vacation anytime soon.
I always thought I would be able to take this in stride. I worked within the military community for years, was married to a soldier and had been through my share of deployments. But, there is no amount of life experience that prepares you for when your child calls and tells you their unit is being deployed and they leave next week.
All I know is that for the next few days I am going to smile and cherish every second we have together, I will hug him if I feel the urge and I will laugh extra loudly and full-heartedly at his funny and peculiar way of putting things. I recommend you all do the same.
Embrace those that you love and tell them how much you love them, life is ever-changing and there are no guarantees.
I won’t tell him that while I am screaming inside, feeling paralyzed with fear, that all I want to do is hug him so tight he can’t leave after the weekend is over. Instead, I will tuck my fear in and be bigger than fear itself. Then, all that I can hope for is that when I step back on the plane is that he knows how extremely proud I am to be his momma.