Military mama: Son’s growing independence hard to adjust to

This summer we took a big step toward growing up, as parents. My oldest son spent the past three weeks with his grandparents in Florida. I couldn’t quite commit to sending him on his own to fly across the country. Though, I know he would have been in good hands with the flight attendant travel assistants. But, I couldn’t give him that much of a taste of freedom. So I did the first round of travel flying with him and getting him settled. It didn’t take long to realize that not only would he be fine without me, he was practically pushing me out the door.

I had big plans for a complete bedroom strip down, cleaning his nest of disaster from top to bottom. Multiple times I have ventured into his room, but I found myself feeling homesick for my kiddo every time I spent time in there without a five-year-old’s banter to keep me entertained.

I was so certain that he would eventually start missing his brother and sister, if not his mommy and daddy. But with each phone call I get updates on all of the fun stuff he’s been up to and then get pawned off on the nearest person. “Here talk to Jalyn,” “Here’s grandma,” or worse yet, “Can I go now, mom?” Like I’ve been holding him prisoner with my communication.

Life has been a little simplified with two kids to chase instead of three, however the two that used to be on the same team quickly learned to be opposition for one another. It’s funny when you take one piece of the puzzle out, the whole thing is just incomplete.

I really miss my kid.

We Skype, and it warms my heart. He will be home shortly and I’m sure my memory will fail me of just how different the house feels without him. But, for now I try not to be too offended when he tells me that it would be okay if he just stayed with grandma. “They have kindergarten in Florida, too, mom.”

Yes, I am aware but there’s one thing that Florida doesn’t have — his mommy. So kindergarten or not, swimming pool or not, he is stuck with us.

I’m proud of how brave he has been, he hasn’t cried or asked to come home. I’m sure those tears will come when he has to leave grandma and papa to come home. I look forward to hearing all of his tales when he gets home. As boring as we are, he’s just going to have to deal with it, because I’m making grandma give him back!