June 2009, I found myself at the Showare, watching The Boy graduate from high school.  In October of 2009, I find myself sitting in the reviewing stands amongst Officers and Honored Guests, at the Marine Corp Recruit Depot, San Diego. The Boy is graduating from boot camp and he's the Company Honorman, which in civilianese means he is the valedictorian of the graduating class.  Number 1 in a company of 400 plus young men.  
I was so overwhelmed with emotion that day...  I was so proud of his achievements, full of joy to see him, and scared to death of things to come.  Even now I get a bit teary-eyed thinking about that day.

His Grandparents, Sister, Dad and I had spent some time with him the day before and I remember saying to myself over and over again, "this is not my little boy anymore...".  It took me a while to get used to it... Hell, who am I kidding, I'm still trying to get used to it!

Now, I had not been to SoCal in ten years, and that in itself was an emotional trip.  I got to see cousins, uncles, aunts, and friends that I had not seen in a very long time.  It felt great to reconnect with them all, but I also longed to be back home with LT.  It was the first time since we have been together that we spent more than 12 hrs apart!  It was not easy for either one of us, hardest on her since she suffers from panic attacks.  I felt so duplicitous because I wanted to be back in SoCal and visit with friends and family, but I also wanted to hurry thru those 5 days and get back home.

The Boy came home for 2 weeks before he had to go back to Camp Pendelton, San Diego, for MCT (Marine Combat Training).  Watching him leave was not as bad, so LT and I thought, "Right on... getting the hang of this, no dig deal..."  The Boy did well and graduated as Company Honorman again, but this time he was going straight to his MOS (Military Occupational Specialty) School instead of coming home for a few days.  My heart constricted a bit, but such is the life of a Warrior's Mom, right? 

Then, the Holidays happened...

Thanksgiving was very weird.  Not having him here, just us three girls, it was a little numbing.  He called and sent me a picture of his Turkey Dinner... I'm sure it was a "see Ma... I'm okay..." kinda of thing.  He's such a good boy to his Momma.

For Christmas, he had called and we had made plans that he would get here on a Monday night.  LT and I were very excited and just couldn't wait to see The Boy.  Meanwhile, his sister was complaining of her brother not talking to her, and not answering texts, ect... I just thought, he's busy, he has a lot to do now, not knowing that all along those two cherubs turned monsters were hatching out a plan.  So the Friday before he's suppose to show, I get a phone call around 10:30pm.  I see it's The Boy and my heart drops.  He won't be able to make it.  So I pick up the phone and try not to show my disappointment as I say "Hello..."  
He responds with, "Why is my yard such a mess?"  
His words just didn't make sense to me... So I say "What?"
"Why is my lawn such a mess, why is there leafs on my lawn..."
Then it hits me...  He's talking about our lawn.  As I walk to the door, I say into the phone, "You better not be f%#*ing with me..." and there he stood... My Boy...  I felt like I was in a Folger's commercial!
When he left this last time, I was a mess, because I knew that he was one step closer to being deployed.  It was very hard to see him leave.

So now The Boy is getting ready to finish his MOS training, top of his class and will be the Class Honorman.  To top it off, he will be stationed in Camp Pendelton.  The Marines he will be serving with just got back from a deployment, so they will be state-side for a year before they go back out.  Another plus, he will have my parents about an hour away and a good friend stationed at the same base.

A Mothers, and Grandparents, Prayers answered...

So... AMEN!

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