I stepped outside this evening to go for a walk and saw it immediately. It was the exact same moon that had hung in the evening sky on the day that you left four weeks ago. It seems like it has been so much longer, but it has not. Exactly one cycle of the moon has passed since you left for Marine Corps boot camp.
It reminded me of when I first introduced you to the moon with the children’s rhyme. “I see the moon, the moon sees me. God bless the moon and God bless me.” I recalled the first book I ever read to you, “Goodnight Moon,” when you were so very small. “Good night room. Good night moon. Good night cow jumping over the moon.”
The memories flooded over me of the many times that we read the funny book about the cows and the moon. “Two Cool Cows” was one of your childhood favorites! “Moon has a meadow, green and wide, a great green meadow on the other side for cows on the munch, cows by the bunch, ever so many eating their lunch…” Oh, I remember how you giggled as you thought about cows eating on the moon.
So much has happened here since then. I’ve had speaking engagements, events, put a couple thousand miles on my car, and had more meetings than you can imagine. I’ve been very busy, but I planned it that way. You know that staying busy is how I keep sane.
If I’ve read your schedule correctly, you’ve been quite busy, too. You’ve learned how to march, use a rifle even better than before, how to make a bunk (I just bet your drill instructor had fun teaching you that skill!), how to fold your clothes (and that one, too), how to correctly wear your uniform, and probably as much history as I taught you in your last year of school. As much as you’ve learned, dear Son, you still have so much more to go.
I, meanwhile, just have to make it through two more moon cycles. I’ve not cried since you’ve been gone. Oh, believe me, the thought and the emotion have entered my mind many times. Somehow, though, I just don’t think the mom of a future Marine should cry tears of sadness. I imagine that will change when I see you. I will probably cry then, but those will be tears of great joy and pride.
I’m so very proud of you. Just two more cycles of the moon to go. I know you can make it, Son. You will become a Marine. And I will see you on the night of the waxing gibbous moon in November.