First Day of School, First Day of Boot Camp

A military mom divulges the most important things a mother can offer when a child heads off on a new journey.

Posted in , Aug 10, 2017

Boot camp

As summer edges deeper into August I can’t help but think about back-to-school time. Every store has back-to-school sales and promotions, and the media is saturated with back-to-school commercials. My boys are long past school age, but the memories linger. 

I remember the preparation that went into getting them ready for school. We shopped for clothes, shoes, supplies. There were backpacks to buy and last-minute haircuts to schedule. It was busy and fun, spending time with each child, making sure he was equipped to start the year off strong. 

I wanted my kids to leave for their first day of school feeling prepared. As excited as they were, there was a good bit of nervousness–they weren’t exactly certain of what lay before them.

I also wanted each child to know that he carried my love with him no matter where he was. I reminded them that they could never go anywhere that God wouldn’t be with them. Most of all I assured them that their loving family would be right here waiting when they got home. 

There were similarities to sending a son off to boot camp, except I didn’t get to buy his clothes or shoes or backpack—or have a say in the haircut. The military issued him new clothes—a uniform. They fitted him with new shoes—combat boots. They even made sure he had a backpack, military of course, and an appropriate military haircut.

All I could do was make sure my enlisted son took this next big step certain of his mother’s love, God’s presence and a family who would be waiting when he got back. Looking back, I know those were the most important things I could have offered.    

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