My New Normal
I’ve attempted to write this blog so many times I’ve wondered if I should just put this sentiment in the category of ‘shoulda, woulda, coulda’ and move on to something less difficult to write.
I shoulda wrote that blog but I couldn’t stop crying long enough to organize my thoughts.
I woulda written that blog but I couldn’t stop crying long enough to form a complete and articulate sentence.
I coulda written that blog…but I still haven’t fully processed my emotions.
It’s not the kind of hurt that comes from a mean word or a physical attack.
It’s the kind of hurt that comes from the realization your baby is no longer a baby, and your new normal is so drastically different than your old normal, there are times when you can do nothing but wonder when this new normal will become…well…normal.
When my son told me he wanted to enlist in the Navy, I was one hundred percent on board. He was shocked. He expected me to fight him on it. The last thing he expected was, not only my support, but the pride and ease in which I gave it.
I was with him every step of the way. Praying with him when he kept running into road blocks that I am convinced were put there to test his perseverance. Praying for him when his patience wavered. Making him laugh when he wanted to cry. Constantly telling him how much I believed in him and his dreams. Reminding him that what God had for him, no one could take away.
I knew, in my heart, my son was walking in his purpose. I wasn’t going to allow any seed of doubt to make him to stumble on the cracks in his path.
When he called me with news he was finally being sworn in, I drove four hours to see it…despite others telling me that he would actually swear in again before shipping out. This was the moment he’d fought for and I wasn’t going to miss it.
Two weeks later he was given a ship date.
Shit got real for me immediately.
I knew it would be hard for me to let go…but nothing could have prepared me for the sight of my son swearing in again, knowing that, this time, he’d be leaving.
He must have gotten so tired of the hugs and the squeezes and long gazes I kept throwing his way in the days leading up to that moment.
I just wanted to remember his face because I knew, once he got on that bus and left my sight, I would never see that version of my child again.
When I saw him climb on that bus…my heart broke. I felt physically sick. I didn’t cause a scene but I was not ok. I watched, with tears flowing down my face, as that bus carried my baby away.
I’m so damn proud of him.
But I miss him.
I miss him so much.
We have this crazy bond and, I know most mothers have a special relationship with their son but…
Y’all, this baby used to cheer me up by grabbing a half gallon of ice cream and two spoons, and climbing into bed with me while we ate ice cream and watched his favorite Disney movies.
As a young man, no matter how late he got home, he would sit on the edge of my bed and talk to me before he went to sleep.
When he moved to Texas with his father, we spoke almost every day, even if it was just me saying, “Mijo, I just called to hear your voice.”
I haven’t heard my son’s voice in fourteen days.
It hasn’t been fourteen days of tears. There were two full days last week where I didn’t cry at all.
And then yesterday I opened my jewelry box and held the hair from his first haircut in my hand. And then I held the long loc he gave me from his very last haircut as a boy.
And it’s ok that I cry.
It’s ok that I miss him.
He’s going to be great.
And although I may never see that boy again…
I can’t wait to meet the man he becomes.