J.S.’s good friend S. came over last night. She was on her midterm break. I adore S. Our family has adopted her. She, in a way, is the daughter I never had. She is pretty, smart, funny, and a good person. Of course, I didn’t have to nurse her, change her diapers, get her through school, or now, pay her tuition through college. Bonus!
She has known J.S. since before kindergarten. She is his oldest friend. They have a history. They have had their ups and downs. They even went to prom together as friends. J.S.’s boutonniere still sits in my refrigerator over a year later. I just can’t seem to get rid of it. But what has remained between J.S. and S. is their friendship. Hopefully, it will be life long.
But seeing S. made me realize, that I cannot see or contact J.S. whenever I want. I cannot call him whenever I want. Or text. Or Skype. I CAN do these things, but I will not get a response – right away or even the next day or even the next. He is in Power School. A tough, demanding school that requires he give 110% of himself at all times. He fortunately has a high enough grade point average that he does not have mandatory study hours. However, he still spends at minimum, 20 hours studying. I am so proud of him! I never knew I would feel so much joy at someone else’s accomplishments. MY son’s accomplishments.
My son. Really? I have not only one son, but two? I did not want children, which I may have said previously. I knew the pain they could feel. I knew of the helpless I would feel when I could not heal their pain. I knew that caring for and loving another human would be dangerous for me. I care so much, I am an empath. I actually physically feel the pain that my love one’s feel. I also knew that I might accidentally hurt them. The thought of having another human feel pain, a human that I had created, was more than I could bare.
But here I am. I have two people I have created. The good news is that I have never thought of them as my “property.” They are their own people. My job is to give them roots to grow and wings to fly. It was a saying that my mom often said. I try to follow it. There is a lot of wisdom in that saying.
But J.S. has flown in a way I could never have imagined. The NAVY?? He is my son, but the Navy OWNS him – body and nearly his soul. He has grown physically, but even more importantly as a young man. He is learning responsibility that most 19 year-olds would not even comprehend. He is a good person and becoming an even better one. (Mind you he is not perfect. There have been times when kicking his ass would have been a perfectly appropriate response to his actions.)
And so back to S. It was wonderful to see her! She didn’t even call first. She came over, just like family. We probably talked for over two hours. We talked about school, her classes, her adventures, her friends, her dorm, her “special” friend, her parents, her siblings. It was easy and lovely. She has grown into a beautiful young woman. She is special. And I could hug her (and I did!). And if I wanted to see her, I could drive an hour to see her and hug her again.
After she left, I lost it. I remember I teared up at his swearing-in ceremony. I don’t remember crying that much after J.S. left for boot camp. I will admit to be shell-shocked for the next couple of weeks. I was thrilled to get his box of civilian clothes. Though I was puzzled as to where his underwear and socks went. I loved getting all THREE of his letters. (Eye roll). I remember being so excited for his boot camp graduation. I might have teared up seeing him after graduation. I might have teared up leaving him at the airport to go to his base. I have been sad, glad, worried, and happy.
But last night, all the emotions that I had apparently pent-up, came pouring out in a flood. I could not stop crying. I missed and loved this child, this creation, my son, more than I could ever imagine. I hurt. I did not want to hurt. But I guess this is what parents go through?
A song by Sean Mendes just played on the radio, some of the lyrics rang so true. I felt them in my soul. While the song is about two lovers, one wanting to be free, some lyrics are so applicable to my heart and my son:
Please have mercy on me
Take it easy on my heart…
Would you please have mercy, mercy on my heart…
I’d drive through the night
Just to be near you,…
I’m not asking for a lot…
I’m prepared to sacrifice my life
I would gladly do it twice…
Please have mercy on me
Take it easy on my heart…
I suppose it will never be easy on my heart. It hopefully will get easier with time. He will be in the Navy for 1 year at the end of November. Only 1 year. He wants to make the military a career, 30 years. I will continue to feel, care, and love. It is my nature.
I think I have come out of my crying jag, for now. My heart has had a bit of relief. I will continue to savor the time I am able to communicate with J.S. I will enjoy when his friends come over to talk, eat, ruffle my youngest son’s hair, and the ability to hug them. But I might cry again. But it will all be okay.