Usually my blog posts flow out of my fingers, into the keyboard, onto the screen. Easily. Seamlessly. My consciousness effortlessly streamed into words. My feelings easily expressed on paper, even virtual paper. But today I’m a mess of emotions and I can’t pick just one to go with. I am happy. Sad. Anxious. Excited. Proud. Worried. My heart is beating harder, faster, in my chest. My baby, my moose, my Cole is on a plane somewhere over the Atlantic.

Yesterday Cole enlisted. Our friend Laura swore in another of my sons. Today Cole is on his way to the states. He is off to bootcamp even before Nick has graduated from his (The Hard Way). I now have a Marine (Christian), and two Soldiers. I am a blue star mom.

Cole has struggled to find who he is. Where he is going. There are so many choices in life. To make just one & put your feet on that path is hard. It’s incredibly hard. He has worked. He has gone to college. He has stayed at home. Not quite willing to take that extra step until he knew it was the right step. The last months he’s become increasingly anxious. What to do. What to do?

And then, a job opened that was just him. Suddenly, quickly, with barely time to draw a breath, he filled out papers. Took a physical. Signed a contract. Took an oath. Packed his bags. Donated his sweaters to a gaggle of giggling girls. After 21 years my moose is out of the house. He is on his way to be a soldier. To be a satellite operator.

It’s so him. It’s a great MOS (job). I am so damn proud of him. I miss him so much. It’s been hours. He’s not even in the US yet and I can feel the emptiness closing in on me.

Cole taking the oath of enlistment

Cole & his recruiter

Tess, Dave, Cole & me. One last time.

One last Fall photoshoot with my 3 “littles”

There is a lot of goofing off. And not a lot of posing.

They are not behaving.

Tess will pose. With gang signs.

One last shot of Moose

Our chauffeur. Our swearing-in officer. Our friend. Our Laura.

I am so going to miss this.