An Open Palm – The Transition into Adulthood for a Mom and her Sailor

This was copied from NavyForMoms And while I’ve Linked back to it, you probably can’t get to it, unless you are a member.  But I have given credit to the owner of it.  I did NOT write it. ~ Laura

Ladies-this is a Blog I originally wrote back in August ’08 when my son had finished BC and was in the first few weeks of “A” school, the

second stage of his Navy journey. I’m proud to report that he graduated -with distinction -and is well on his way to pursuing the rest of his dreams. :)Hope my reflections are helpful to you. This is a turn on the Roller Coaster that can leave a Mom breathless and a little nauseated at times, but often it’s quite exhilerating!:-) God Bless!

One of the hardest things as a Mom is knowing when to release your grasp and let your child spread his wings. From the moment they arrive, we snuggle them close, nurse them, protect them fiercely, intercede, advocate, sacrifice and generally go over the top to make sure they have everything they need to be happy, safe and successful. It is not a job for the faint of heart. Often, we find ourselves holding onto them with clenched fists, the world beyond our safe harbor can be such a cruel and scary place. It’s natural to want to close ranks around them and keep them in, to want them to stay where we can continue to watch over them and control what affects them. Especially if you are not sure if they know what they are doing.

I remember when my son was about 15, he was obsessed with dying his hair blond. I knew of course, that it would look awful and streaky in his thick dark hair, but he was determined! Guess I should be thankful he wasn’t fixed on piercing something or a tattoo (both of which he did in college later, go figure!) but I was the Mom and I was equally determined it wasn’t going to be. So, I simply outsmarted and out waited him… I gave my permission on the condition that he let my Uncle who is a hairstylist do it (who lived 300 miles away, guess how many times a year we saw him) and that he wait until we had our family portrait done. Guess how long it took for that to happen?! Yep, until the desire faded. =) Diabolically sneaky and underhanded I know, but sometimes a

moms gotta do what a moms gotta do…what amazes me is that even though he was persistent, he never caught on or raised a huge stink.! He’s very smart and wasn’t one to disobey, suppose he figured it wasn’t worth the fight. [the Mom in me just hopes it’s because he realized how incredibly wise I was! =)

But at some point, that clenched fist must become an open palm, a place to receive whatever your fledgling adult offers and a launching pad for them into the world beyond, sometimes into the unknown. This is especially so when your precious offspring decides to join the Military! The launching process is suddenly accelerated and even the most “adjusted and open minded” Moms can be thrown for a loop! I know I was, and since I did not have any prior military experience or history of service on my side of the family, I was probably not as open minded as some. I was concerned, intrigued and downright scared. Still, I knew this one I could not outthink, outsmart or outwait him on. It was going

to happen, one way or another. He’d been living on his own for two

years; seeking my/our blessing and understanding was a loving,

honorable courtesy on his part. I have always been a roll up my sleeves and get involved in the process kind of person, so I set about to educate myself (hubby was on board already) and then had a nice long chat with his recruiter. Poor guy! I didn’t mince words or spare his feelings, I asked the tough questions and expected honest, informative answers. This was the only way I could come to terms with and get a handle on my son’s choice.

I have spent countless hours in the bleachers at school events,

cheering him on, I wasn’t going to disappear now. I knew that he would still need my support and encouragement, just in a different way. This is what Moms do. The trick is to find a way to do it in a way that is not intrusive or obstructive and allows them to slide into the role of grown up seamlessly. A tall order for sure, one that takes dying to my own selfish needs to hang on, to smother, to delay the inevitable, but one that has immense rewards. My son called from Hospital Corpsman “A”school the other day. He’s really enjoying the process of learning to be a Medic, something we never anticipated! The little boy I used to protect and whose wounds I used to tend, has now assumed the role of Protector and Healer. He’s also been impressed at how much I’ve learned since being on N4M’s! He told a fellow classmate (who’s Mom is also on N4M) “I think my mom knows more about the Navy than I do!” 🙂 He calls

now to ask me to look things up and find out information for him, he calls to keep me up to date, he calls because he knows I will swallow my fears and listen, pray, support and encourage him no matter what. He calls because he know that like the God who created him, I love him unconditionally. I was the first person he told that he’d been asked to be Platoon Leader for his class. He was weighing it out and asked for (needed) my input. That is my role now, still nurturer, cheerleader and prayer warrior, but now reflective sounding board and trusted adviser, always and forever Mom.

One Response

  1. […] An Open Palm – The Transition into Adulthood for a Mom and her Sailor (via Memaw’s Stuff) By Laura Posted by Angie F.- WA: HM mom on March 4, 2010 at 12:27pm in THE ROLLER COASTER Back to THE ROLLER COASTER Discussions This was copied from NavyForMoms And while I've Linked back to it, you probably can't get to it, unless you are a member.  But I have given credit to the owner of it.  I did NOT write it. ~ Laura Ladies-this is a Blog I originally wrote back in August '08 when my son had finished BC and was in the first few weeks of "A" school, … Read More […]

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