This is really a terrible picture of my son. But I love it. Because he has been awake at that point for 50 hours, but he is home. He is in the United States of America. In Colorado. And although WE were complaining about the heat in the auditorium, HE has been in 150 degree temperatures for the last year and he thought it was downright pleasant! I not only saw my son last night (Praise God!!!!) but I saw him "in his element." I would never suggest to him now that he leave the military. I saw the way he interacted with the men with whom he has lived and worked for the last year and I could see that something very special is there.
I cannot even begin to describe the moments of waiting for him, it was much like being in labor again. The ceremony was delayed 2 hours, the auditorium was oppressively hot and crowded with other expectant humans. But when they finally marched in, it was unbelievable. The crowd roared. I did too. I thought I would cry, but I was just so happy and so proud. In fact, I have a sore throat this morning... I think I might have roared a bit too much!
We got to visit a bit. He was extremely tired and it was WAY past my bedtime. There will be another ceremony next Sunday. I told him that I would stay home so his dad and step-mom wouldn't be uncomfortable (she won't go anywhere near me.) My wonderful son said "She can get over it, it is not her event, it is mine, and I have just invited you." So I will be there. Damn straight I will be there.
I think I could write a book about what it was like to be there last night. But then I would be really, really late for work! I am thrilled that my son looks healthy and happy. I am incredibly proud of him. I am intensely relieved that he is home. I am grateful I live in a country with an all volunteer military, and they are some pretty impressive people! I am grateful that I am a sober mother, and my son actually wants to see me and introduce me to his friends and wants me to be present at the important events of his life. Thanks be to God.
"Now there is a sense of belonging, of being wanted and needed and loved. In return for a bottle and a hangover, we have been given the Keys of the Kingdom." -- Alcoholics Anonymous (3rd ed.) p. 312