I’ve been playing hooky and not writing much. This summer has been gorgeous here in Montana and I have been immersed in outdoor activities and hosting our first Be Brave and Be Strong Military Mom Retreats. We laughed, we cried, we bonded in this harrowing journey we travel as our children stand in harm’s way. Next week I host our last retreat of the summer (don’t worry there are more scheduled next year if you are interested) and I am so excited to gather together another group of battle buddy friends for life.
There is a hint of fall in the air. Despite daily temps reaching near 90, the mornings hold a brisk chill. The aspen trees are beginning to get a hint of yellow. But nothing reminds me more of fall than a trip to Target. Back to school is everywhere. Several weeks ago I wistfully watched a mom and her son shopping for his dorm room. I laughed as I compared the differences between his and her priorities. Another aisle over a kindergarten backpack choice was being made and it brought tears to my eyes. It seems like only yesterday that was me. Just as I wrote in the first chapter of “Be Safe, Love Mom” that first step onto the school bus was a profound leap away from my protective mother’s arms to a place where I could no longer keep them safe.
The news reaffirms each day that this world is a scary place. The suffering of those who have been affected by Hurricane Harvey has been heavy on my heart. I grieve for the losses from recent aircraft and ship accidents. The drums of war seem to be beating louder and louder and that military mom backpack I wear is heavier and heavier. What’s a mom to do?
I step outside, take a deep breath and look for joy. A herd of deer has been enjoying my green lawn in the midst of brown grass. I smile as I watch a fawn nuzzle its mother. I look to the mountains that have stood for centuries and determine to not be moved. My children-your children-need us to be a touchstone-a place where they can get support and encouragement just like that day they first climbed on that bus or walked through that classroom door. We said goodbye with a smile, a wave, and a reminder they can do it.
They can still do it-and our world depends on them. They depend on me to stand strong behind them-so I will. It’s what moms do. Stand with me-we are stronger together.