Thursday, January 19, 2012

The one where he now belongs to the USMC

I don't even know what to call this post. That's how my whole week has rolled. Tuesday I couldn't even tell you what day of the week it was. First I thought it was Monday and then I thought it was Thursday. WTF, me? And then Tuesday night- the bomb dropped. I was making supper and Sean and Mike had just walked in.

Sean- I heard from the recruiter today. He called and said he had good news.

Me- Oh yeah? What?

Sean- I have to go to MEPS tomorrow, I'm swearing in on Thursday.

Me- *sputtering* But...what...all your waivers?*He had to get a waiver for his wrist tattoo because it wasn't an inch from his wrist. He had to get a waiver for his home school diploma. It's been nothing but a pain from the beginning.*

Sean- All went through. I'm in.

Me-*mouth hanging open, still stuttering* but...but...

Sean- No buts! All I need now is for my job assignment and ship out date to come down.

And then he went off to take a shower.

Lu- Why do you sound so surprised? You knew this was coming.

Me- Well, I mean, they kept jerking him around, and the Air Force tried to steal him, and he had a plan B and it was a good plan. And now he's leaving!

Lu- Again, you knew this was coming.

Me- You don't get it yet, but you will in eighteen years. *Pointing at baby Dylan* He's my baby. And now he's leaving home. And you should know that after you leave things are never the same. And he's joining the service, the Marines no less, and he could get sent to Afghanistan and die.

Let me first say that I have nothing against the Marines. Except that they are the first in. They lose more military personnel every year. Sean knows this. Sean doesn't care. And despite an IQ and test scores that qualify him for Intelligence jobs, Special Ops, or millions of other things, Sean wants to be Infantry. First in. He's wanted this since he was six. Seriously, six. And while I admire the determination and his fire, as a Mom, I'd like him to have a nice behind the scenes job. Like, stateside. But I know that isn't his dream and I have to support his dream, regardless of what my dreams for him might have been.

Also, I was raised in an Air Force family, so it's hard to switch loyalty. Which only military people will understand.

I'm not sure anyone in the family gets it. Sean thinks I'm not proud of him. And that is far from the truth. Sean is amazing. I couldn't be more proud of him. And I am proud that he wants to serve his country. And I'm proud that he's confident and independent and nothing I say would talk him out of this. I'm glad he's going for his dreams. But I can be proud and glad and happy for him and still be sad for me.

Don't get me wrong-- I'm totally looking forward to all of my chicks leaving the nest. I know that the house will be cleaner, quieter and easier to take care of. Mike and I will have some quality time together and I won't have so many distractions from writing. I'm not one of those people who are scared to death of what they'll do when they have an empty nest. Not anymore. I have a career and outside interests. I have friends and hobbies. Mike and I have plenty to talk about besides the kids. Our trip to New Orleans proved that we can still be "just Mike & Stacey" and enjoy it.

But I will miss my chicks like nobody's business. I will miss the loud chaotic craziness of five adults and a baby living in the same house. I will miss talking out a story line with the kids or insane dinner conversations. I will miss having partners in crime. I will miss sarcastic banter (Mike's not so big on the sarcasm). Who will explain quantum physics to me, for gosh sakes?

I'm excited for the kids to start their lives. I know, living at home, they both feel like they are kind of in limbo and waiting for "their real lives to begin". And I understand that. And I'm excited for "the rest of my life" to begin. I'm excited for the next stage in Mike & I's relationship to begin. I'm excited to lay on the couch, after a long day working, and not have to keep turning the TV up, in order to hear it.

But I'm sad too. I'll miss those chicks. They are my kids, my chicks, my spawn. But they are also some of my best friends. So sending them off is bittersweet. It's the culmination of my life's best work. Nothing I achieve from here on out, can ever compare to raising confident, intelligent, responsible adults. I devoted the last 21 years of my life to it and seeing it come to fruition is supremely gratifying. And terrifying. But mostly, gratifying.

So I'm going to have a glass of wine at dinner tonight. And I'm going to toast- Sean on the beginning of his journey, and to me- in the next phase of mine.


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The one where we wrap up the year...

Hello? *peers anxiously out at the audience* Anyone out there? *taps microphone* Is this thing on? Oh! Wait, there you are! Shout out to my stalker, Michigan. Didn't think I knew your name, did you? Yeah, I have mad stalker skills of my own. Or, well, ok, Sean told me. Anywho, for anyone still out there reading my rambling, few and far between posts, Happy New Year (a few days late).

I know I don't post as often as I should, but I've got my reasons.  Mostly, I'm super busy and distracted. And it's not that funny shit doesn't still happen all the time at my house, I just forget it before I can blog it. Sad, but true. And then there's the fact that so many people that know me (in real life) read my blog that it's kind of awkward to put some stuff on here. And mostly, they're pretty awesome peeps but some just look for gossip. (You know who you are and you should probably get a more interesting life of your own so you don't have to try to ruin mine). Whew, I've been wanting to get that off my chest.

So, a whole 'nother year flew by. Seriously, it feels like it was whoosh and there went 2011. Why does time seem to go so much faster as you get older. Does it really speed up or is our perception skewed? The answer probably has something to do with quantum physics and the space time continuum. I'd ask Sean, but you know my eyes would glaze over and all I'd hear was "blah blah blah". I'm going to go with it actually does go faster, because to admit that it was my perception would be like admitting these lovely "silver" highlights in my hair were actually greys and that I'm aging. Which I think is totally unfair because most days I don't feel a day over 21. Well, mentally. Physically, some days I feel 100. Wait? Where was I?

Oh yeah, a new year. 2011 was eventful. I mean, like ginormously eventful. My oldest, CJ, graduated from his school and turned 21. Lu had a baby and got married!! And my baby, Sean, turned 18, travelled across the continent twice and joined the Marines. I don't have children anymore, I have adults. How weird is that? Mike was hospitalized, twice. I had gallbladder surgery (good riddance!), a skin cancer scare and started a whole new career. And Mike & I finally took a trip, all by ourselves. See what I mean? Last year was HUGE. And this year the world ends. I mean, if you believe all that "end of the world" stuff. Personally, I lean either way, depending on my level of optimism or pessimism. Although, if a cataclysmic apocalyptic event should happen, you know we're prepared out here. Sean even learned this year that I happen to be a pretty decent shot and won't be totally useless in the zombie apocalypse.

But I digress, the year in review: Wow. That's all I can say. I'm so grateful for last year. Don't get me wrong, there were some bad things. Mike's paternal grandmother lost her battle with cancer in November. She was an awesome lady and will be missed by our family. Mike's hospital ordeals were nerve wracking and not fun. My mother received a very grim medical diagnosis, although the second opinion is, so far, inconclusive. That will be a whole other post. But in the end, we came out stronger. My Mother's illness prompted my sister and I to take a weekend, just us and Mom & Dad. It was a weekend for healing old hurts and forgiveness. Watching my daughter give birth was one of the hardest, but most joyous, things I've ever witnessed. She was a champ. Her being a mother and wife has brought us even closer in fabulous ways. Mike's illnesses and our trip reminded us, again, to cherish each other while we can. (Sappy, right?)

And, as always, I am constantly reminded that we have met and continue to meet the most amazing people, both in person and online. Shout out to Peg at Square Peg in a Round Hole for the awesome white trash chex mix she sent me. It was delicious! Thanks to everyone who has sent notes, cards, emails, ect, whenever we've needed a "pick me up". And thanks, most, for continuing to share my life through this blog. I ♥ you, one and all.

And here's some highlights:
Our trip to Gulf Shores, Al in March with a pregnant Lu

CJ's prom in May

CJ's Graduation in late May

Counting down the weeks til Dylan's birth

The big day arrived, 07-18-11 Dylan James Flanagan, 7 lbs 10 oz

She's a beautiful Mama

Mike's Grandma Vera got to see the baby

The wedding: small but wonderful, in the place they met

Cutest family ever, Halloween

Mike in a New Orlean's coffee shop before the cemetery tour. How could you not love this guy?

May you all have a very blessed 2012!