My son Jamie is back in the States after a tour in Afghanistan, during which this mama prayed every day that he would come home safe to us. He did. The young lady in the picture with him is his fiance, Jessica, soon to be my daughter-in-law. I am very proud of my son, not only for his service to our country in the Marine Corps, but also for choosing to love a wonderful young lady.
I have been keeping a stiff upper lip, as they say, on the outside, but I’ve been like quivering jelly on the inside for the entire time he was out of the country. Yes, he serves our country in ways I can’t even tell you here, but he’s still my little boy.
I can see him when he reads this. Rolling his eyes, and saying, “Mom!” But anyone who is a mother will understand: no matter how grown up he becomes, I still remember the little boy with the big grin jumping in my arms, and saying, I LOVE YOU, MOMMY!
Smiling at the screen, I think back to the first time I saw his little face on an ultrasound. I remember: the first time I held him, and he turned his head and looked back at me. He was all of 4 minutes old; Holding him in my arms during those wee hours of the morning, rocking him back to sleep after a feeding; listening to him singing Sesame Street songs in the bathtub; watching his dad teach him to catch and throw a ball. All these memories are cherished in my heart, and always will be.
The last time I saw him, before he shipped out, I told him I loved him and how proud I am of him, but that I missed that little boy. He grinned back and said, “I do, too, sometimes, Mom.”
One day I will be telling these stories to his little boy, and smiling through my tears of joy.
God bless you, my Marine son. Welcome home.