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Normally, I try to stick to home renovation topics to the greatest extent possible but today, I’m going to make a relatively rare exception. Perhaps it is for cathartic purposes. Perhaps it is not. Perhaps it is because of a certain amount of pride and patriotism. Who knows…

Anyway, we shipped our oldest child off to Navy Basic Training earlier this week. He left us on Monday and has been at the Great Lakes Recruit Training Center since. I’ve never served, although my father was in Korea, so all of this is very alien to me. It’s tough that we haven’t spoken to him but for a sum total of three minutes or so since we last saw him Monday evening. We are not expecting another call for at least another week. We aren’t even expecting a letter until toward the end of next week.

It’s tough when someone you have lived with and seen nearly every day in the last 20 years is suddenly AWOL from the family group. It’s like a black hole suddenly appeared in our house and sucked my son away. I know what he is doing is for the benefit of himself and our country but that doesn’t mean we don’t miss him dearly. He anticipates being stationed aboard a sub which is on deployment for months at a time with, naturally, little to no communication with the outside world. So for the next six years or so, this is pretty much how it will be.

This is what he wants and what he needs. It’s what we want but not what we need. Right now, our sanity is being partially sustained by NavyDads and NavyforMoms along with the RTC Facebook page. While we can’t speak directly to him or even see him with these sites, they help us feel like we can connect to him if even in some tangential manner.

With all that said, I can’t wait to see the man he will become when he graduates from Basic in late June. I just hope I recognize him…

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