Recently my son Preston, finished a third deployment and got a police escort from the freeway exit to his house. Normally this sort of thing happens during the day and it involves both lights and sirens, but since his flight got in after midnight it was a very quiet affair.
Going to the airport would’ve meant me driving by myself and I know my kid well enough to know he just wanted to get home, and me being there wouldn’t have mattered, so I made arrangements to meet them in the parking lot where the police escort would begin.
As I followed the procession that night at about 1:15 am I felt so proud of my son! So happy to be his mom!!
While I was driving… I remembered another time thirty nine years ago, when Preston’s dad graduated from college.
My then twenty two year old husband had, for four the past four years worked a full-time job and also taken on a full load in college while maintaining high grades throughout.
On graduation day I was tired because I had a five week old baby–my third in three and a half years, and I reasoned that I didn’t have a sitter or anything to wear. My young husband said it wasn’t a big deal if I didn’t go.
So, I stayed home while he went alone to his college graduation alone, and walked with no one family wise there to support him.
And that, is something I will always regret.
I’ve learned from painful experience that there are events that only come around once and if you miss them not only does it sometimes hurt the people being celebrated a lot, but you totally miss out too. Some things deserve to be Celebrated! Or majorly acknowledged at least. They deserve our full attention, recognition and applaud!! Things like graduations, weddings, recitals, getting an award, birthdays, even funerals etc….
So, on the night that Preston came home from his Africa deployment I followed a quiet but well lit up procession, and I thought about what a big deal it was that they were honoring my son in this way! And even if it was in the middle of the night and nobody really knew or cared if I was there, I cared. And it mattered to me that I’d shown up!
Because this was a time when showing up really mattered.
I’m glad that this time, I didn’t stay home and miss it.