Just looking for some advice. My son who will be 20 on Feb. 14 left yesterday for basic training. He enlisted in the Marines in December and is doing his basic in San Diego. I am having a hard time with him being gone. This is my first of four and obviously the first to leave the nest. I have already sent a letter to him with notes from his little sisters and have another letter to send today. Everyone tells me to write, write, write because mail call will be the highlight of his day. What do I say when I am so sad that he's gone? If I write everyday, is it too much? Will he become a target if he gets letters from his "mommy" too often? I know his girlfriend will be writing as well as others from our small, close-knit community. When is it too much?
Lucky, Been there, best thing to do is write, anything, what the temp is like, what the dog is doing. The girls homework, what you had for supper, how you cleaned the house, the birds chirping the weather changes, the color of the sky, who you saw outside. Waht you bought at the store.
Everyone is right, the only contact he will have for awhile is mail and he will desperately need it and look forward to it. His g.f. will write religously at first but you will be the only one writing every day.
Even if it is just one page. When he can get packages, there are boxes available from the post office in various sizes. They will tell you the price of each box. You can cram those suckers with anything and everything that will fit in there. JUnk of any kind, find a dollar store and spend 10 bucks add a newspaper anything, I used to send yoyo's comic books sports mags, etc. decks of cards, candy, gum, you would be surprised what they have. YOur son will love it if his gf want to send him somehting tell him he is dying for baked goods, let them do that. When the boxes arrive they are shared.
The lonleniss won't pass completely but it will get better. I had 4 kids in 4 years, they all left, service, marriage etc almost one right after another. Talk about empty nest syndrome HAH!!!
If you want someone to talk to , pm me and I will send you my phone number.
Believe it or not, your son will probably want to be kept up to date on all that is going on. Especially how everyone is doing in his absence. Tell him how you feel about everything. Also, even if it's included in one envelope, suggest that he write his siblings separate from the family, in individual letters. My father was in the Army for 20 years and yes, it is hard to deal with when they are gone. You hunger for their presence, they hunger for any news from home. I remember when I was a kid and my dad was in Korea, it made my week when a letter came with my name on it.
Also, care packages from home are especially important. Baked goods, preserves, crafts, anything you made yourself. Also, include things that you can only get in your area. I live in Oregon, and we used to send cheese from the Tillamook Dairy. Anything that was a favorite of his that you made that can be shipped will bring a sense of a little bit of home is with him. Finally: PICTURES, PICTURES, PICTURES. Send them, receive them, ect. If you can't touch someone, at least you could look at them.
I agree with the person who said to write about everything...weather, what you had for dinner, the chores,.....just write! We "adopted" a soldier from our community and send him care packages frequently. We can never send enough! One of the things that our solider loves to get are packages of small toys. He shares them with his buddies and then when they are out on patrol they give the toys to the children. The "big boys" get a lot of joy out of being able to give gifts to the little children. We send things like: matchbox cars, smalled stuffed animals, beads, action figures, and dolls. Another item that is often on the request list is silly string (which you can buy in the dollar stores.) I thought that they used it to locate trip wires and I have heard that is indeed a good use for it, but I have seen lots of pictures of our favorite soldier and his unit having silly string fights! On the practical side...we get the request for GOOD smelling soap, plain white socks, snacks, and gum. Just don't package the soap and food products in the same box because if you do the snickers bars will end up tasting just like Dial! GROSS! Basically, just keep the mail coming for your son. You don't have to always write long elaborate letters. Send a photo with a caption or two. Your son will just feel good to hear his name at mail call and have SOMETHING from home. Good luck!
Thank you all so much! I am still writing every day and waiting for my first letter from him. The recruiter said it would be 10-14 days before we got a letter from him and he has been there 10 days now. I feel like I am stalking the mailman! I am waiting to get something and always sending something. My son is very lucky. We live in a small town and I have given his address to just about everyone we know. I see people in the grocery store and they tell me they have written him. I hope we can all keep a smile on his face and a spring in his step. I am so proud! Thank you all again and I will take your advice!
My son and oldest daughter were both in the military (Navy). Basic training is hard, very hard because they are (in essence) tearing the kids down to remake them into a soldier or sailor.
Even the most regimented kid finds it hard to have to wake, sleep, eat, brush their teeth, even use the toilet at only specified times. Not trying to upset you, but am trying to show how important it is for these kids to have a sense of home and normalcy while they go through this process.
Write, then write more. You might not mail them off every day, but keep him up to date with his family, his home and remind him of things that make him smile.
Norma is 100% right, when those kids are allowed to get goodie boxes, it's a whole new world!! It certainly is share and share alike and he with the most goodies is well loved by the rest of the group. Tootsie rolls, cookies, any of those treats we tried to limit while they were growing up are always a big hit. Chewing gum, not so much because they might forget it's in their mouth at the wrong time. If nothing else, remember, he has free dental now!
Hang in there mom and know you're not alone.
"Some days you're the dog; some days you're the hydrant". author unknown
Dear Lucky, my thought and prayers are with you and your son. What a hard thing for a mom to go through. My oldest two went off to college and that was hard enough. May God bless your son and keep him from harm's way. And please, thank him for me for serving our country with honor and grace.
Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read!! Groucho Marx