Son Leaving for the Military

Lisa - posted on 08/19/2013 ( 2 moms have responded )

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I have two sons 18 and 15. We are a very close family and my 18 year old has decided to join the Coast Guard. He leaves two weeks before Thanksgiving so he will be gone for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years - all big celebrations in our family. Both my husband and I are having a hard time with it, but his brother is really having a tough time. He doesn't want to have Christmas or our traditional New Years party. Truth is I don't either right now but we can't stop everything. How do we learn to handle a changed family?? Also Bradley always had all of his friends over - very outgoing. Our younger one is not as outgoing so as all of the friends go away to college or wherever this is like another part of our family disappearing!!

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♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 08/20/2013

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and trust me when I say, I know exactly where you're coming from! Just had a quick thought...LOL...like with you, ours was/is very much the "kid house". All the guys hang here, all their friends as well, and I have younger neighborhood kids who hang out just because they can.

Shortly after the oldest left, I got home one day to a houseful...not unusual in itself, until I realized that the "houseful" was my eldest's buddies, hanging at our house, as usual...I'm still trying to figure that out...eldest is moved out, but I get TWO back???LOL...something wrong with that picture.

Anyway, my point is, it will all work out well...and with older brother off to military, don't be surprised if younger brother kind of picks up that slack, brings more buddies over, etc.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 08/20/2013

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2015

It's part of their growing up. You cannot expect them to (even if they don't join the military) stay fully involved with all of the family stuff as they get older.

Yes, its an adjustment. It's a big one, but you all have to make it. Explain to your younger son that it's now 'his' time with mom and dad, that you can all do things that will still be good memories, and that, when older bro is around, he can still join, but ultimately, you need to move forward.

Having "no celebrations" be the new norm would be a bit much. My eldest is 19, and on his own. Brother (16) did have a problem with that at first, but then he realized that he has more 'time' with us one on one, and that he's getting some pretty cool things out of the deal too. Granted, nothing that wouldn't have happened anyway (first vehicle/project with dad, etc) but because of the timing of when older bro moved out...it seemed more special to younger.

Good luck!

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