I’m The Shell & I’m Cracked Open & Ready When He Needs Me

I’m watching my middle son sleep. That doesn’t sound abnormal, right? Until I tell you my middle son is twenty-two years old and is just visiting for a few days. Yeah. Now it’s creepy. You still don’t think so? Okay imagine for a second… What if my son opened his eyes at four-thirty in the morning, and saw his insomniac-menopausal mother staring back at him. Now, do you see what I mean about creepy?

I’m so proud of him, and I miss him so much. This is the son that left home and joined the armed forces when he was eighteen, and he has been gone ever since. I mean, he has been home on leave, and he always comes home to me; but he spent his first four years overseas, and even though he is geographically closer now, I still can’t reach out and touch his face whenever I want, like I can with my other two sons.

But he calls and he texts me. And we are so close. Actually, I’m close to all of my boys… Well, let me back up; I’m as close as you can be to a seventeen year old who still likes to pretend he was hatched from an egg -but that’s a boy-phase, and we’ll be closer once he decides to acknowledge I’m the egg.

And I also need to clarify that I’m proud of all of my sons, because each one gives me many reasons to be proud.

But right now, I’m staring at Alex over the top of my iPad. If he opened his eyes at this moment, my face would be illuminated like some Game of Thrones or Walking Dead zombie. Creepy, now. Right?

Looking at Alex reminds me of how he has been driven to succeed since high school, when he came home in the eleventh grade and told me the Military was “Who I am, Mom!” And I remember thinking, great, I’m forty and I still don’t know who I am, and he knows at sixteen?

I remember how I fought Alex every step of the way, because if I had anything to do with it, he was not going to join the armed forces; he was a straight A/B student, and he was going to college. But Alex had another plan; he wanted to enlist during his Junior year of high school, and he needed my signature. If I signed, then he could go to bootcamp during the summer, before his Senior year, and then go directly into the Military after high school, and according to Alex, “Start his life.” “Mom,” he said, “Stop holding me back.”

I stood firm. If Alex wanted to join the Military, he would do so on his own. I wasn’t signing anything. Sometimes Alex wouldn’t talk to me for days.

I remember Hubs telling me, “Alex is not only the mirror image of you, he is you all the way to the core. Alex is going to do what he wants to do.”

And fifty-eleven recruiters showed up unannounced, every other day for an entire year; because Alex arranged an appointment. Alex hoped the recruiters could convince me to sign the papers; he hoped to wear me down. Of course, they didn’t. I never signed.

And I wasn’t polite to the recruiters. You see, the recruiters lied to Alex; they told him he could be a flier (like his Dad and his Grandpa) and Alex is color blind. And I constantly told Alex the recruiters lied, and I told him to watch Private Benjamin, but he didn’t. Once again, it was the whole: I was hatched-from-an-egg, so what does she know, boy-phase.

In the end it all worked out. Alex enlisted after high school, and he and I got used to it; Alex grew to love his non-flyer Military role, and I grew to love my support position. And my son and I grew closer because he acknowledged, I’m the egg.

As a mom, the best thing we can do for our sons is to recognize, we are the egg, and remember it, even when our boys don’t; naturally, they want to separate from us; they are supposed to have growing pains and pull away in their late teens. That’s a good thing. And they always come back. I have always known this is Alex’s life (it’s his AFTER he graduated high school), and I’m the one on the sidelines of his life with the pom-poms and the safety net.

So I’m not watching my Alex sleep anymore.

I just covered him with a sheet and kissed his forehead very lightly. It’s all good. He didn’t catch me. And I didn’t creep him out.


One comment on “I’m The Shell & I’m Cracked Open & Ready When He Needs Me

  1. Noelle
    August 25, 2013 at August 25, 2013 #

    Awww. You’re such a good mom!

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