Monday, June 4, 2012

Sorting and savoring

Aaron taking a final bow during his
last drama performance. Yes, I cried.
It's that let-down feeling you have after everything is said and done. Your busy plans are complete, bags are emptied, things are sort of back in place and despite a moment of rest, you are still utterly exhausted and drained. Your company has left and life is back to normal - that is until your husband has meniscus surgery this Wednesday. And looking at you and your sassy pink-haired self, no one would know all that's been going on because you appear to be coping. But the fact is you are struggling and you (in this case me) wrestle with conflicting emotions. Clear as mud, huh? 

Without getting too personal because blogs like that make me uncomfortable, this is how I'm feeling. In some strange way, it seems as if nothing happened because so much happened and it's just too hard to process. It's postpartum depression minus the baby. I scarce can take it all in.
The Class Crest of 2012
Two graduations in nine days in two different states is not for the faint of heart. Of all the stressful things I have done in my life, having those two events so close to each other is wayyyy high up there on the things I wouldn't choose to repeat. Both moments were so significant and emotional, there wasn't time to absorb one without quickly being distracted by the other. As a result, I'm stunned. What did we just do? Where did we just go and come back from (and I don't even care about the questionable grammar)? How much money did we spend? Why am I both full of emotion yet in empty despair? The denouement of Aaron's high school graduation and Nate's graduation from the United States Military Academy needed their own proper time. Kind of like my arthritic right knee, there wasn't and isn't any cushion.

Nate and I after the graduation parade.
I really loved that shining brass buckle. Very shiny. ;)
It sure seems like these cadets don't
realize what a huge day this is for me
and all the rest of the 2012 USMA parents!
After a graduation celebration with some of Nate's friends and their families, the Hubs and I were driving on Bear Mountain Bridge. Our tummies were full of delicious food from Foodies and it was early evening. The United States Military Academy, an outline of the stately concrete structures were off in the distance. The view called out to my mama's heart. Amber lights sparkled from the windows, the Hudson River sat tranquil and tears streamed from my eyes. Tears are currently streaming from my eyes as I type this, thank you very much.
Cadets are still in these rooms, I thought to myself. They are busy doing things, I mused, but strangely, my boy is no longer there. How could that be??? His (and thusly my) 47 month journey had ended just hours before and everyone had seemingly moved on. Nate was ready. I guess I was not. 
The Hubs and I during Ring Weekend
standing in front of Nate's barracks.

As the Hubs kept his eyes on the road, I couldn't help but reach out and grab that little West Point with my fingers. Between my thumb and my pointer finger, I held West Point there as long as I could before we passed it by. I can never grasp what this place has meant to my OS or to me. 
Majestic - Washington Hall 
I can find reasons to return to West Point but none will be for my boy as a plebe, yuk, cow or firstie. The pangs of this reality sting and confuse. He loved that place. He hated it. It was so far away. I loved coming there. What tumult of spirit! No sooner had Nate graduated from USMA, then he bolted from Michie Stadium along with nearly 1000 other newly commissioned officers and finished turning in all their stuff. There wasn't any sentiment in the departure and it reminded me of the 90 second goodbye we had been issued on R-Day, that never to be forgotten day. No built-in cushion there that's for sure. 

My boy, that uniform, what memories
Pride, humility, loss, gain, and so much more jumble inside. I expect to be working through these experiences and emotions for quite some time because that's what a mama does, right? 

I'd love to hear from you if you can relate. West Point mom or not, you might empathize. Thanks for listening...


Gigi said...

Everyone of your posts hit me directly, both in my heart and the tear spouts that seem to fill and then overflow. We, too had two graduations, West Point on the 26th and my daughter's HS graduation back in TN on the 27th. There is so much, no too much, to process for both of the events. You help me identify the rambling inside of son is so glad to be done with USMA, but we are done too. I no longer have a cadet, I have a
2nd LT (and all of his stuff that isn't fitting in our house anymore). He is a little empty with his time, I feel cranky at best, teary too.I try to relate the graduation experience to others and I can't fully describe it. I wish we we had met to hug.. but so glad we have your blog.. you say what I am feeling... hugs to you, my friend!

Lisa said...

Where are the tissues? It's like you could see into my heart and you wrote why I haven't paused to give voice what??

Marytoo said...

Oh, boy, do I ever relate. xoxooxoxox

MyAwesomeOliveShoots said...

Oh thank you sweet mamas! I didn't mention the crabby part and the associated emotions for fear of being too raw. I told my oldest OS that I would appreciate him cleaning his room up a bit. How weird was that? I said, it doesn't have to be SAMI clean but it would be nice if he could make some effort. We are all adjusting, blessed and challenged. Thanks for your comments, I welcome them and find joy in our common bonds.