The weekend begins tomorrow with the arrival of my inlaws and my other daughter. My mother arrives Saturday and Lancelot has to leave Sunday for another week's travel. I had a couple of Aha!! moments this week with the email about LCPL Dark Prince's APO address and making some final shopping arrangements for his imminent departure. It is real. It is going to happen. I have been a crybaby the past couple of days.
True to my nature, I ran away from home today. I didn't clean my house as I should have. I didn't make preparations for the arrivals.
I had coupons and gift cards and decided that today would be a great day to use them. What a grand plan I had!! Borders and then Target and then Bed, Bath and Beyond and THEN Yankee Candle and the Sports Authority and Bath and Body Works.
I forgot something though and that something left me dead in my tracks this afternoon. In order to get to the Yankee Candle store, I had to pass the Armed Forces Recruiting office at Potomac Mills.
Yankee Candle is a spa thing for me. I love their candles (although Sly sent me one that sounds like a fireplace when lit..all popping and crackling..loved it). Their candles have been an aromatherapy anchor for me on past deployments. I love Meadow Mist, Mango Blossom, Vanilla Lime, Sicilian Orange and Midsummer's Night candles. The scents make me feel good and right now, I'm all about the "feel good".
Passing the Armed Forces Recruiting office, I noticed a very young guy coming in with paperwork in his hands. His mother was with him and I flashed back to several years ago when I was in her shoes.
Several years ago, the Dark Prince was getting ready to graduate from high school the next day. I had family in for this auspicious occasion. I also had to go the day after his graduation to a memorial service for two Marines from our battalion who had died in service to their country. My husband was in Iraq. On top of that, I had to go THAT very day to the Recruiter's office and sign my son's paperwork so that he could be slated to attend boot camp. I halfheartedly tried to talk my son into being a cook. Yeah..I know....but I had to at least mention it. If for no other reason, humor's sake.
When I saw that mom today, I recognized the body language. I saw fear and tension, to be sure but also pride. I wanted so much to go over and hug her. I wanted to tell her that her son was choosing a worthy endeavor and that she would find an incredible network of support and love. We milfamilies are very good about this.
I wanted to tell her that I knew what she was feeling. I wanted to give her my phone number and tell her to call me if she needed to talk to someone. I wanted to shake her son's hand as I would an adult's and congratulate him on making an adult decision.
Ultimately, I didn't do that...not because I don't believe all of the thing I've listed above. I didn't do that because I felt like I was intruding. Having done what that mom did today, I can tell you that it's a private thing. After I signed papers for LCPL Dark Prince, I wanted to be left alone for a little while. I wanted to give her the same space that I carved out for myself that afternoon.
So, for that mom and any other parent who have signed papers recently, I am thinking of you and lighting my Vanilla Lime candles for you tonight. In the future, please know that Spousebuzz is here for you too and soon, there will be a Parent Buzz as well. With the stroke of that pen, you have joined a family like no other. I know it's a heady leap of faith. We're here and we're leaving the candle lit for you. You come when you're ready.