mother soldier kids growing up

I Am The Mother Of A Soldier

Never did I think that I would hear those words escape from my mouth but the truth is, I am officially the mother of a soldier.

I had the honor of attending my oldest son’s graduation from basic training  in Fort Leonard Wood, MO.  And I must say that it will be one of the fondest memories I possess in my life.

mother soldier kids growing up

As a parent we raise our children in hopes that they will be successful, but for a mother of a soldier it’s just a bit of a catch 22 for me.  As proud as I am of him, we also live in a world of uncertainty right now.

I took my seat that morning and watched as each group of these young men and women marched their way to the stage and one by one called off their names and where they were from.  And when my child came forth, I barely recognized him.  He was all grown up.  He had already changed.

I thought about all their family and friends in the audience who were watching and wondering if they were all having the same feelings as me.  The feelings of pride, joy, love, fear, understanding, and of course uncertainty.  If their whirl wind of emotions, were blowing in the same direction as mine.

I sat across from my son, dressed in his Army issued tailored blues, made just for him.  And I couldn’t help but think that just yesterday he was this 10 year old little boy, with no thoughts of where he would be sitting on this very day across from me.

mother soldier kids growing up
2008
I thought about the past year and a half and what he has overcome.  That he made some bad choices but made some self discovery along the way and in the end chose the right path.

I thought about the last time I saw him and how many things were said between us.  A conversation that hasn’t been finished.

I also thought about my 4 other children, who are all growing up so fast, and that as soon as I blink my eyes, this person sitting across from me, will be my 4 year old.  All grown up and no longer needing my undivided attention and me knowing that I did my best to give her and all of her siblings the love, life skills, and childhood memories that will give them the best wings to fly.  To know that I tried to be the best mother I could…even when some days mothering required every ounce of me that I had.

Watching this ceremony and hearing of my son’s stories of his journey so far, gave me a new found respect for these young men and women who take an oath to protect and serve their country.  To protect some of the freedoms that so many of us take for granted.  To sign on a dotted line not knowing the unpredictability that lies ahead.

Basically giving up their freedom…to ensure ours.

The last night I was there, I walked my son up the sidewalk near his barracks.  I promised I wouldn’t cry.  I promised that I would be strong and send him on his way.   I hugged him tight, told him I loved him, and then as soon as I turned to head toward’s the car all those tears poured out.

I hadn’t cried like that in a long time.

But it wasn’t just because I am the mother of a soldier, it’s because I am a mother, and for the first time since becoming a mother, I had a taste of what it was like to let go, and that before long, I would have to let go of all of them.

To Bryan,

I know your blood doesn’t share my blood but I will always think of you as my son.  There are so many things that you won’t understand until you have children of your own.  

I hope you know how proud your dad and I are of the person you have become.  That you chose to be a better person, even with so many odds against you.

I hope you understand how much we love you.  And how much we never stopped loving you…even when you weren’t making the best of choices.

I hope you understand the reasons of why we had to make some of the choices we made.  I don’t regret those choices…especially if it gave you the will to prove you could make it.  That you could be a better person even with the hand of cards you had been dealt.

I hope you will always know…this is your home.

Love,

Mom

PS:  Never lose sight of the boy on the left.  He’s formed the man on the right.

mother soldier kids growing up

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64 comments

  1. Trista!!! I am sitting here with tears in my eyes and goosebumps. This is one of the most touching things I have ever read! I my heart hurts for the uncertainty that Brian faces now, and for you as his mother, his protector. We always strive to protect our babies and now your baby is protecting us. Thank you Brian for your service! Lots of love!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What an incredible feeling it must have been to see the man he transformed into =) I’ve sent 2 of my babies off into the world and have 2 now left at home (13 & 15). One of them just got married too. It feels like time has just flown by and I have no idea how the heck to slow it down!!! Where’s the pause button in life?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Congratulations Bryan! And great job Trista, to you and your husband, you’ve raised an excellent young man. As a military brat and now a military wife, I guarantee you will cry many more times. The only solace I can offer is that there will also be many more times you will be smiling, laughing, and cheering on your soldier for the wonderful things he does. #momsterslink

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I just can’t imagine being in that situation with a grown up child and all the mixed feelings that must come from having a child in the army. Congratulations to him, of course. It is wonderful when we achieve the things we aim for in life. #momsterlink

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was just a taste of the fact that someday they will all be all grown up and making their own choices and yes I’m so proud of Bryan and how far he has come. Being a mom can be such an emotional roller coaster. Thank you for linking up!

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  5. This post still hit me as much as it did when I saw this pop out on my feed. The hardest part of motherhood is letting go and as I read your words, I could feel every bit of your emotions – what a bittersweet mix of feelings. I know my turn is coming soon and I will be bawling my eyes out in the car too. To us, he’s still the young kid with the crazy questions as well as the responsible independent young man now. Beautiful post, Trista. #momsterlink

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! I really did see the 10 year old little boy sitting across from me. And realized that I can’t slow down time or bottle it up. I can only capture it on camera and within these posts of mine. Thank so much for linking up doll. Really appreciate you taking the time.

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  6. This was a beautifully written post. Congrats to your son, and your family. And hugs to you and all the mixed emotions that come with a milestone like this. Pride & letting go & fear about what may happen in the future. My huband’s two older brothers are veterans, I have two cousins still serving and I worked for Veterans Affairs in Canada. And I still can’t imagine how a mother feels when their child is posted. But today: Congrats to your son and you and your family for his achievement. So much to be proud of!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Talk about mixed emotions as a mother! However, as terrifying as it would be to watch my son put his life on the line for our country, whether he sees combat or not, I would be so proud of his strength and courage. You’re boy is amazing and please thank him for his courage and fortitude from Big Fit Fam!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Oh wow I have goosebumps all over! I’m petrified that Ben would want to become a soldier as I hate the thought of him being in danger but like you said there is also a sense of pride as he is doing something for his country.
    I’m sure he’ll be ok
    #momsterslink

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Ok, now I’m crying and hugging my two year old very tightly (my 7yr old is lucky his at my parents!). What a beautiful post, the mix of pride and fear must be hard to cope with x
    #Momsterslink

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m hoping that he gets to travel some good parts of the world and get an education out of it and am coming to terms that he might make a career out of it…time will tell. As parents it really is hard to accept that they grow up and just don’t need you anymore.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Gotta love when you hit send by accident…ugh. (eyerolling myself)

    I met my husband 3 years ago when he was stationed in Hawaii. Both of us having been divorced and trying to get on with our new lives. We met, fell in love and now I find myself in this role as a military spouse. I’ve sat with is mom and we’ve chatted numerous times about his previous 16 years in the Army and her life as a military mom. You described the emotions she expressed. So much pride and on the back side of it, worry and uncertainty. Much love to your family and I thank your solider for his service =) (And yours, mom!) #momsterlinkup

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was the first taste of what it’s going to feel like when the day comes that they are all grown and gone and living their lives without me 😦 I know that it labels us as successful parents but sometimes success comes with a price. Thanks for reading and commenting.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. What a beautiful & heartfelt post, Trista! I can tell how proud you are of Bryan. And he does look so grown up now with a strong presence about him. The ceremony sounds like a really moving time for all of the families. I love the letter you wrote to Bryan too. xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am truly glad that it is something I got to witness in my lifetime. These young men and women deserve so much more credit and respect then they get. And like I said, it seems like yesterday he was this 10 year old little boy who I was meeting for the first time. He has come a long way and we are very proud of him.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Fearful pride is a good phrase for exactly what I feel. He gets to come home for Christmas and then after that will probably be assigned where he is going. My hopes are that he gains an education and gets to see some of the civil parts of the world and of course to return to us safely. Thanks for linking up.

      Liked by 1 person

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