When Christian joined the Marines six years ago, we didn’t see or hear from him the whole time he was at basic. We did get the I-love-you-mom/dad, they-made-me-write-a-letter letter. But that was it. Only six years ago it was a whole different ballgame being parent of a trainee. Now? Now the Battalions, sometimes even the Companies, have Facebook pages.

Facebook pages are great! I can stalk them for a glimpse of my boy(s). Granted, it would be a heckuva lot easier if they wouldn’t all wear coordinated outfits, but hey, that’s the military.  Speaking of… now that Cole is no longer at home, he has to do his own laundry.

Not only does he have to do his own laundry, but it’s extra challenging. The trainee barracks have a limited amount of machines, and the trainees have a limited amount of time. Even worse? You have to stick with your laundry. No walking away  & leaving it spinning. If you ditch your machine, some entreprising young soldier will remove your load and start their laundry.

And the very worst? All the clothes match. Your laundry is the exact same colors & items as the laundry of the soldier next to you. If you lose sight of your clothes, it’s a headache finding them back. The struggle is real.

This week was super exciting for me. I caught glimpses of Cole & Nick during my stalker rounds. Then on Thursday Nick graduated Basic Training. Soren, Lindsay & Christian drove down (9 hours each way!) to be there for his family day & graduation ceremony. I got live-streaming, talking & pictures!  Nothing, nothing except being there, could’ve made me happier!

Except, then Cole earned a very rare phone call home during basic training. It’s a priviledge the drill instructors rarely extend. And Cole got to call home! I cannot tell you how amazing it was to hear from my moose. He is doing great! My heart is a little more at peace.

I miss him. So. Much. Granted, my food bill has spiraled to almost nothing. Moose eats a lot. My snacks are still waiting for me the day after grocery shopping. Heck, I still have cheese cubes (my favorite snack, and Cole’s) waiting a whole week after grocery shopping!

I would give back every single cheese cube, ever, to have my Moose back home. It helps knowing he is okay. I know he needs to grow-up, move out, live his own life. I know these things. But knowing and making my feelings feel what I know? Not the same thing.

It helps seeing Nick graduate this week. The change in his posture, his bearing, he radiates happiness & confidence. My boy is on the right path. He is doing what he loves. He is serving his country. While I am proud of him, so very, very proud, what is even more important… he is proud of himself.

Christian, Nick & Soren

Nick at his trainee barracks

Nick ❤

Nick graduating in his dress blues ❤

Cole was good & got the rare priviledge of a call home during boot camp ❤

I played “Where’s Waldo?” and found Cole at “Gas Chamber” day

Cole told me it wasn’t bad.

I dunno… he doesn’t look super happy here LOL!

Cleaning up. All done!