As I sit tonight and write, it's hard to believe that it was already one week ago that I watched Sam go from a civilian to a sailor. It seems like yesterday that my father, his grandfather, stood at the top of his porch and saluted Sam as he left for bootcamp.The last two and a half months has felt like a foggy dream. I've found myself at times and even tonight, wondering if Sam is actually an active member of the United States Navy or will I just wake up and find that life is exactly the same as it was for the last eighteen and a half years. When I look at this young man in uniform I see someone different, someone stronger, someone who's found their purpose. Wearing his dress blues he stands a little taller; with a willingness and acceptance for what's ahead.
It's not often that our family is not together and because of that his absence was noticed by each one of us. Waiting, even if it's for something good can be difficult and that's exactly how our wait felt. The anticipation of reuniting produced many emotions with him last Friday because the truth is, we are always better together. We are a team and each individual contributes to what makes us a whole, and complete family. Seeing him off to bootcamp was one of the biggest challenges that our family has experienced in a long time. The lack of direct communication and face to face interactions were a struggle at times for him and us.
And, even now as he moved on to the next phase of this military journey more waiting will be required. Although the waiting may produce more uncertainty, I've learned that our place of waiting is what actually makes us stronger. Waiting is preparing Sam for the potential God has woven into his purpose.
Sam and I are learning to navigate different kinds of wait. While my wait includes the unknown for our next reunion, and watching my child's journey to become independent, my age and experience will let me tap into others times of wait and remind me how important they were for my future. His wait will be brand new, with nothing to draw from but his trust and faith as he makes another adjustment to new people and a new place and unknown orders for his next 5 years. His wait will require patience and an understanding that everything will turn out okay. It will be my job to show him how to appreciate the wait even when we don't understand it, to not get frustrated and discouraged but to forge on because good things to come are always worth the wait.
Marching in his dress blues marked the beginning for Sam. A beginning with a new life, new obligations, a new family, a new place he'll call home and a new wait for a bright future.