I remember being massively pregnant for the first time and anticipating what childbirth would be like. Everyone had advice; everyone had a story to share. I remember asking friends what to expect during labor and delivery, and what life was like with a newborn. I did my best to prepare, but until I felt that first labor pain, I didn’t know exactly what it would be like.
I feel like this has how it’s been with “launching” my first child. Anticipation, questions, advice – but until it happened, I really had no idea.
Granted, we’re three weeks into this, but so far, this is what it’s like.
It is not even knowing how I would get on that airplane that would carry me away from him, and then there I was, at 35,000 feet and flying over the Rocky Mountains and away from him.
It is telling the hostess at a restaurant “6, no wait, 5.”
It is leaving the radio on a certain station when that one obnoxious song comes on, one that drove me crazy not so long ago, but now I like it because he does.
It is rescuing a praying mantis from a shopping cart at Target, because it’s what he would do.
It is thinking my emotions are in check, then suddenly busting out the tears at unexpected moments – walking past his empty room, hearing the song “Dear Theodosia”, seeing one of his friends.
It is trying not to obsessively look at my phone for messages from him.
It is feeling sad for my other kids, who are missing him, too, in their own way.
It is second-guessing parenting methods, and wondering did we cover everything? Did we talk through all the important stuff enough?
It is being full of hope for him, yet also worrying over small details, like is he warm enough?
It is catching my breath when I think of the vast ocean that now separates us.
It is wondering how I’ll get through the next eight months without a hug from him.
It is experiencing a resurgence in my prayer life.
But let me say this: the heaviness I feel is mitigated somewhat by the many women in this community who have walked and are walking the same path. I am so thankful for them during this time and their kind words of hope and encouragement. I am also so thankful for my faith that allows me to trust in a sovereign God who is not one bit surprised or overwhelmed by a mom separated from her son by an ocean. He knows. He sees us both. And that is a comfort.