Thursday, January 3, 2013

It kind of sucks, but, you know, in a good way.

Our son left for the Navy today so I'm going to be all sentimental for a few minutes if that's okay with you guys. 

When you have a baby everyone from your mother-in-law to the crazy guy at the post office tells you to "enjoy it because they'll be grown before you know it". Naturally you, with spit up on your shoulder and an extra diaper in your purse, think to your sleep deprived self, "Shut it old guys!", because you're so tired and consumed with not losing the backup pacifier that all you can think of is getting to the next stage...Please let him sleep through the night, hurry and crawl, walk, talk, feed himself, and oh, glory hallelujah potty train. You don't have the time or the energy to enjoy your baby, especially if he's not an only child. Good grief, you're happy if you make it to the end of the day without having to call poison control. Are these people NUTS?

What should really happen is that someone needs to sit new parents down and give them one of those movie slaps and say "Look at this baby!! LOOK AT HIM! One day he is going to have the chubbiest cheeks you ever saw.....
...the next he's going to be in kindergarten. He'll start thinking for himself and being funny and stubborn and his teeth will fall out. For a while his cheeks will remain chubby, though not nearly long enough.
Eventually he'll drive and like girls and learn how to blow things up. He'll probably survive all of those things and talk you into buying him dumb stuff like horse head masks.
Then one day he'll come home and tell you that he has decided he doesn't want to go to college right now, but he does want to do something productive with his life and so he has decided to join the Navy. You will be proud of him and support his choice but your heart will break because you know that this is it, there is no way a young man leaves for the Navy and comes back your little boy.
And even though you know that's how it's supposed to be, and you will honestly happy for him, you will cry, maybe a lot, but you'll try not to do it in front of him. Mostly.

Someone should really tell new parents all of that. Someone should tell them that it doesn't get easier when your baby learns to walk and dress himself. The kind of hard just changes.

This morning we went to the swearing in ceremony. They started out showing a video whose music was that stinking Proud to be an American song, I guess they want to ensure that the parents are crying when they say their final goodbyes. No need, my husband and I have been crying since last week. I'm proud and excited for him but sad to see him go. The older I get the more I hate change, even so, I know it's good and right and that he's going to be fine. We're all going to be fine.


Expat mum said...

Thanks for popping over. Argh - now that would be a toughie. Mine's just off at college.

Ginger said...

I so understand... Mine won't be going into the Navy, but Italy seems so far away. You said it so perfectly. This is such a hard time of life for us moms isn't it? I'm feeling for you. :)

Michelle said...

Oh Sue! It is incredible what he's doing, but I can't imagine how hard it would be to see your baby doing it. Hugs, my friend.

lori.huffaker said...

Beautifully said. I am proud of both of you!