Friday, January 12, 2007

Morning After/Day Before

Many thanks for all the encouragement and support I received yesterday via comments (and e-mail). Your words helped — they truly did. Perhaps I was wrong in saying blogging is an escape. It’s more of a support network and refuge.

It also amazed me how supportive everyone was despite the fact I was so cryptic as to what is truly bothering me. I thought about it carefully and decided that a brief explanation is in order — and deserved. While I am still unable to write about how I feel about this, the fact is my son is joining the military — The Canadian Armed Forces. (There, it’s out. Do I feel better? Not really.) Perhaps some people will say, “Oh, is that all?” I suspect most mothers and women won’t feel that way. And perhaps some men. He will be joining at an officer level due to his university education. This is small comfort to me. I can handle my son leaving “the nest” for good. It’s what his future holds while in the military that frightens me. The state of the world is terrifying. Enough said.

Last night’s party went well. Unfortunately, the “guest” of honour was as sick as a dog and had been all day. There’s some bug going around in Toronto and if that’s what he has, I hope he’s able to lick it in 24 hours. He leaves tomorrow morning at 6:00 a.m.

I did not cry. Anyone who came up to me with a sympathetic, “How are you doing?” was met with, “Let’s not go there tonight.” Denial and/or a refusal to let my emotions “out” is still in force. (For how long? Not sure. I know it’s coming...)

The fact that I didn’t cry does not mean I was functioning as a normal human being. With only one drink under my belt, I think I was kind of manic — lots of smiles and laughter. (That’s when I wasn’t keeping an eye on my son, watching his pale face and efforts to be social.) I also totally forgot about serving the dessert until it was almost too late. Of course, I could do something like that under any circumstances.

Today, last minute chores in preparation for his departure. I can’t even nag him with my usual, “I told you not to leave things until the last minute.” I have a heart. He’s sick and, well, he’s leaving. Despite the fact it’s second nature to me, I don’t want to nag him during his last few hours at home.

Earlier in the week.

“Mom, I have to get up at about 5:00 a.m. on Saturday. You getting up with me?”

(Do fish swim?)

“Of course.”

“And will you make me breakfast?”

“You bet.”

What mother who loves, cherishes and adores her child wouldn’t do this? And what mother wouldn’t spend every last minute with her son that she can?


Anonymous said...

I had a hunch it was the military. My older brother joined when I was a kid and it was hard on my parents as well. But now he is retired and full of funny/amazing military adventure stories.

As a parent I think we learn to keep it together for our kids, when it counts...just remember to give yourself an outlet soon.


Kate said...

One day I heard a story on the radio about Iraq. When I got home to my husband and eight-month-old son, I saw my son in the matching "little camper" shirt and camouflage pants outfit I had dressed him in earlier. I got a little freaked at the sight of the camo, and he's only a baby! Keep being brave!

Oh, and I love your blog! It makes me laugh!

Beth said...

trish - Yeah, I've been "keeping it in" far too long. Unbelievable. Something's got to give or my health will go down the tubes. A damned good cry is in the cards for tomorrow.

Beth said...

kate - Re: your son - watch out for those G.I. Joe figures! Had I known...
Thanks for leaving a comment. I've been reading your blog as well and enjoying it.

Beth said...

I am praying for you..the state of the world isn't anything to mess with. I'm am deathly afradi they will enact the draft which case I will need a room for me and my son, so go make up that extra bed, okay?

hugs to you

marn said...

okay now I AM crying... It's those damn Gi Joes we let them play with (not to mention the "plastic gun" rack in our dining room!!)
luv ya - call and we'll cry

Beth said...

beth - the extra bed is yours - as is the futon, the floor - whatever you need! (If the draft is enacted in the U.S., I think mothers should march on Washington. I'll join you.)

marn - I have to make this perfectly clear to everyone - it was your dining room! But, man, he was right in there...

3rd mom - Love ya - and so does he.
(this comment only came through to my e-mail.)

oreneta said...

Oh Beth, I don't know how I would cope. We know lots of folks who've gone, served 20 years, and are out cruising with a pension at about 38, 39. Not everyone serves on the ground....lots of them liked it.

I still don't know how I'd cope. Sending you a big old hug. Hang in there.

Beth said...

oreneta - Thanks for the hug. I'm getting lots of them and need every one.
(And, OMG, he still hasn't packed!)

Baron Ectar said...

You are handling this much better then I would - I would lock my boy up and toss the key.

You are a strong mom and set some good examples for him - I know that he will be successful and make you proud no matter what he does.

Keep you chin up - and we will be here to listen to your worries - we can handle this together.

Beth said...

Baron - Not so strong as I let on...and not such a good day today. Tomorrow will be better and the next day and then the next...
Thanks for you kind words and support!

Nomad said...

Hmmm...yes I really hear you now.

Thinking of you, understand your
desire to be cryptic.

The world would be a very different place without the Canadian military, living in Europe strangely brings that into a clearer focus for us. Think of all those tulips in Ottawa amd all the good peacekeeping we have done.

Hang in there...small solace I know.

Beth said...

nomad - Your perspective as a Canadian in Europe actually helps me. (Although we're doing more than "peacekeeping" these days.)

ragdoll said...

I am thinking of you and of your boy.

Beth said...

ragdoll - Bless you and thank you.