Look at that handsome boy! I am home from a whirlwind of a weekend where I watched my very own little boy graduate from Marine boot camp. Yes, I am THAT obnoxious mother that refuses to call her son anything other than my little boy, but as grown as he is and after all that he has endured for the last three months, I still cannot see him as anything other than my sweet little pumpkin head.
This was honestly such a crazy, busy time of the year to trek across the country, but I couldn't miss it for anything!
I was lucky that my principal was understanding, and I even got to meet my classroom kiddos at an early open house.
But from the moment I left school....the wild rush began... Mr. Dunn and I traveled with Justin's girlfriend, Ellysa, to San Diego, with all of us nervous and excited at the same time. Of course that made for nauseating travel...oh that air turbulence sure can do a number on you.
But we made it...beautiful, sunny San Diego!
Before we hit the MCRD (Marine Corp Recruit Depot), we met Katie Byrd and hit the beach.
Mission Beach was gorgeous, and we managed to have fun and unwind a bit.
Not a lot of people know this about me, but I love a good roller coaster ride! Not the new crazy throw you upside down rides...nope, not this girl. But you give me a good old fashioned wood roller coaster, and I am in heaven. A very loud, screaming, giggling heaven, but heaven just the same!
The Giant Dipper at Belmont Park on Mission Beach fit the bill, and the girls and I had lots of fun and giggles before trying to get some rest for family day at MCRD.
MCRD is a gorgeous post, but all I really wanted to see was Justin.
|One of the MCRD photographers captured this...we|
were all crying by the time it was all over!
Family day was the first time in over three months that we got to see our boy. He has grown and changed so much, and I couldn't fit enough "I love you" and "I've missed you" into the day!
A whole lifetime ago, Josh and I were both active duty Air Force, and as time and distance have moved us away from that life, I had forgotten all of the tradition and ceremony involved with events like this. I have to say that I truly enjoyed every minute of it, and if watching those boys march across the parade deck, brave and handsome in their uniforms, does not bring out the patriot in you, nothing will!
Even though they all look alike without their hair, I could see my baby right off.
I have no doubt that Justin is proud his accomplishments and ready to be the best Marine ever, but I can promise you he was more than ready to leave the MCRD as soon as possible to start his 10 day leave. Hmmm...I guess I don't have to wonder why. :)
At Justin's request, we hit the beach again!
|He looks so happy!|
Look, look, look...I managed to get almost everyone on to ride the coaster!
We had tons of fun, shared lots of smiles and hugs, and hated to leave. The journey home was long and frustrating with late flights and lost baggage, but arriving home with Justin, made it all worth it.
No sooner had we made it home when Justin was approached by a gentlemen that asked him to join him for a minute. He introduced Justin to his mother-in-law, and she preceded to tell him that her husband was a Marine. Justin ended up helping her out to her car. She could not have been more excited to have her Marine escort. I couldn't help but smile and burst with pride watching him.
Justin is embarking on a journey that I would never have pictured him taking. From the beginning, I have prayed for him, hoping that he was making the right choice for him and that he would be safe from any number of things that a young infantryman might encounter. I have prayed for his father and I...to give us strength as he moves away from us to a life that is so far from all that we know.
I can honestly say that I have never been more scared and proud for him in his life, but I would say that pride and prayers covers a lot of what we are feeling.
Well blogging friends, I am off for now. I have a first day of school to get ready for...can't wait to see my new kiddos and begin my own new adventure tomorrow.
Happy Reading, friends!