My oldest son went off to boot camp on Sunday, January 10, 2016 and these have been some of the hardest days of my life. Please don’t thank me for his service because it’s not that type of boot camp. He got himself into some trouble last year, and, instead of letting the court decide his fate, we took it upon ourselves to do that. We are, after all, his parents. It’s our job to make sure our children are safe and productive members of society.
We attended orientation back in August 2015 and learned a lot about this program. It’s called Freestate Challenge Academy and it’s located on a military base about 2 hours west of where we live. It’s a 22 week program and he lives on the base. My boy is 17, my first born, and the one I can count on to be just as quick-witted and sarcastic as me. 😉
It’s been stressful, to say the least, getting him ready to leave, letting him go, and then dealing with him not being home. I cried like a baby on Sunday…and Monday…and a few times on Tuesday.
This program is run by the military so it’s very structured and disciplined. There’s a no contact restriction in place for the first 2 weeks, which means our contact is limited to letters only. After that, we’ll be able to speak by phone and email. We haven’t heard anything from him or about him since he left us Sunday morning. To say I’m worried is an understatement.
There’s a Facebook group for us parents, which is amazing, but it’s just been us parents posting. I’m trying to be patient and I understand that things are busy. I just want to find out how my boy is doing. Thanks to the group, I’m able to talk to other parents in the same situation, which makes me feel a little better.
I’ve been writing him every day but I’m finding myself at a loss for words. I don’t want to tell him about what’s going on at home because I don’t want to increase any home sickness he may have. It’s a tough situation for all of us, but the alternative could have been so much worse. Don’t get me wrong; my son isn’t a hoodlum or anything, he just made some bad choices like we all have.
We’re hoping that this boot camp will help give him the structure and discipline he needs to become a productive member of society. My parenting skills have nothing on the military so let’s be real. I know that this is a good experience for him but I really miss him. Such is the life of a mom who has children rapidly approaching the age of consent.
Anyway, here’s a photo of the two of us on Sunday before he was processed. You’ll notice that I didn’t wear makeup. There’s a reason for that. There’s a video below this if you’re interested in learning more about the Freestate program.
Learn more about Freestate Challenge Academy
Featured image via WeHeartIt