Well friends... Kate and I survived! Jeremy is officially shipped off as a recruit in the United States Navy. Woo hoo, major mom points for me today! :)
I am a bit shocked at how well we handled the process, quite frankly. The military can be a bit overwhelming at times. There are a TON of forms. It's so much worse than the IRS (as if that is even possible!)
For those "detail oriented peeps", I'll give you the low down on our events.
Monday night we checked him into a hotel up by the airport and then he was given liberty (which is not technically "vacation (that's leave), it's just "free time". Love that. I think I want to institute liberty in our office at work. Oh wait ~ I think that was the proverbial "smoke break" which we no longer have. Hmmm. I 'll get to work on that.
We took him to dinner and asked Eli to sit still for 2 hours in a booth. Right. Actually, he did beautifully until he started to try to tear Bub's ears off, but overhead light distraction solved that issue.
We ended the night without to many tears, just laughs and jokes to lighten the mood. Such as this one:
Me: Hey Bub, what happens if you have to go poop while you are doing your push ups?
B: Well mom, I guess I have to just hold it.
Me: You can't raise your hand and just ask nicely if you can go to the potty?
B: Um, no mom.. it doesn't work that way.
TD: SIR, MAY I PLEASE USE THE RESTROOM SIR!
TD: NO RECRUIT - YOU MAY NOT!
TD: SIR, I JUST DID, SIR!
Great. I envision my son coming home with irritable bowel syndrome because they won't let him use the potty. And yes, friends... I said the word potty. Get over it.
Yesterday was a L O N G day. We weren't given his flight information until 9:00 am. Bub was supposed to swear in with the first group of recruits at 9:00 am when the Commanding Officer realized that he did not have a form in his file. It was in the Recruiter's office... in Independence. Awesome. The Recruiter FLEW his vehicle down I-29 at mach a million to get that form to the station before 10:00. Jer was signing it at 10:07. Thank god.
He had to go through phases throughout the morning... talk to the C.O., watch a video, check out through Medical, etc. It was pretty cool now that I think about it how organized it actually was, considering most of the recruits in the room looked to be 17 or 18 years old. I think my ex should have gone into the military - would have done him some good to have knocked that chip off his shoulder back then (and possibly change his path forward for his future). I kept pointing out kids to Kate and saying "Yep, that one NEEDS the military!" But oh, those boys waiting in line for the Marines... I worry about them. They are so YOUNG, so little really. Not a ton of muscle definition yet. Skinny. And scared to death. You could see it written all over their faces. Poor kiddos.
We watched (and taped) his swear in.. I'll upload and put it up tomorrow. It was awesome. I had major butterflies for him as he spoke the words:
"I, Jeremy Vincent Cunningham, do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God."
Wow. I teared up.
We followed his van over to the airport and walked him to his gate. He snuggled on Kate and whispered to her gently. I looked away so I wouldn't cry.
Then he grabbed me. He hugged me TIGHT. I did not want to let him go. He told me he loved me, asked me to watch over Kate and that he'd be back in 2 short months. My throat was tight and I couldn't get much out.. so I muttered quietly in his ear one simple phrase...
Be brave, son. Momma loves.
Today, I am so excited for him. My belly is a bit worried still. He didn't get to sleep at all yesterday. In fact he won't sleep until tonight. But he filled his belly at O'Hare airport last night with his favorite bacon cheddar burger, fries and a huge Dr. Pepper so I'm hopeful it sustained him through the night.
He was so excited to leave. I cannot WAIT to see him in 8 weeks and see the changes he made, the growth, the further excitement to move Kate and E with him to the next phase of the journey.
Happy Wednesday, friends!