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In an article called helicopter parenting in recruitparents.com ((see link below) there is a letter from GySgt Kohler (Paris Island).  It knocked me hard between the eyes and made me take any wishy-washy, hovering parenting desires I was tempted to entertain and kick. them. to. the. curb.  

I wasn't, by any means, a perfect mom -- but I was a pretty good one.   For 18 years I was able to love and comfort him when he needed it.  I was able to be there when he fell, pick him up, dust him off, and point him in the right direction.  When he was sick, I could nurse him back to health.  When he was angry, I could listen.  When he was naughty, I could correct him.  But he's out of my reach now...and it's a GOOD thing.

I did all I knew to do to prepare him for where he is today.  Now is the time for me to cut the apron strings and allow him to become the man he is meant to be.  A United States Marine.

Is it going to be easy to stay strong?  No.  Will I enjoy knowing when he's suffering?  No.  Am I glad the DIs are in his face and pushing him beyond what anyone should have to endure?  You bet.  Some day, it may save his life.  So...

 

When he's up, I will rejoice with him.  

When he's down, I will encourage him.

When he wants to quit, I will redirect him.

When he's discouraged, I will remind him that failure is NOT an option.

And when he graduates, we're going to celebrate like crazy!!

Afterall, "your sons," Kohler says, "are the next generation of war fighters VOLUNTEERING to defend our nation, and others, in this age of terrorism and oppression across the world. They will become tougher, both in body and mind, as training progresses. Expect it. Welcome it. Revel in it. . . Make no mistake about it; your sons are the future of this nation. Treat every letter you write like communist propaganda. Think very carefully what you WANT to convey, then proof read to make sure it's the message you ARE conveying.  Semper Fi!"

http://www.recruitparents.com/bootcamp/helicopter.asp

Semper Fi, indeed.

 

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Comment by coffeelove on September 2, 2014 at 6:14pm

excellent article

Comment by SandyJ67 on September 29, 2013 at 3:42pm

Thank you for writing this ARmama!  My son is currently in SAC Medical Rehab at Camp Pendleton and it's been the most challenging part of his training so far.

 

I was fine thru boot camp knowing he was doing exactly what he wanted and what he was supposed to be doing.  They worked wonders turning my young son into a young man right before my eyes.  Then saying good bye to him at the airport as he flew across the country for SOI, I continued to be strong and we parted with smiles and no tears.

 

But when I heard he was hurt - the mama bear in me came out and all I want to do is hug him.  I am finding strength in God and am keeping my son focused on getting better, but this has been rough. I work to keep his spirits up and even answer texts from him at 2:00am (he forgets about the time change from time to time *hehe*)  But if he needs some words of encouragement to get thru, then I'll gladly give up some sleep to give it to him.  I am clipping away at the Apron Strings and will get thru them completely...eventually ;)

 

Thanks again for writing this - it really hit home :)

Comment by Jordansmom on July 26, 2013 at 4:42pm

Thank you so much for posting this. My son just sent a letter about reaching his breaking point and he has only been there for 3 weeks. I did not know what to tell him until I read your post and gave him a full letter of encouragement and told him he is not a mommy's boy anymore he belongs to Uncle Sam.

Comment by mbmsmom (Beth) on April 29, 2013 at 12:02pm

Thank you for this information, I am trying to cut the strings now....my son leaves in August for PI....and it is hard, but I am very proud! Everything I read here helps me a little bit everytime I read that I am not alone in my feelings!

Comment by mmom2012 on December 28, 2012 at 11:54am

Thank you for this straight talk to Moms. You've pinpointed the heart of the struggle we share. We want what is best for our sons and it's hard to wrap our brains around the idea that what's best right now is also painful and difficult. It is a means to an end that is also difficult and a future that we can't see. All of that fights in my heart to have him back where I can take care of him. And yet, I must have faith that God has something bigger and better for him than I can imagine. 

Comment by 1~17smom (Julie) on September 5, 2012 at 8:53pm

ARmom:  How did I miss this blog?!   What a great blog, and what a great insight to have so early in this game!  One sentence really caught my eye:  " Some day, it may save his life."  That's the thing we don't like to dwell on, but it's at the heart of everything the Marines do to and for our children.  They are preparing them to be warriors and I, for one, don't know a darn thing about what it takes to make a warrior.  Once I figured that out, I could step way, way back and let the Marines do the right thing for my son.

I hope you'll keep sharing.

Julie

Comment by 1tuffmama on September 1, 2012 at 10:06pm

My sentiments exactly!  I have found myself spending over an hour at a time writing half-page letters for just that purpose - choosing my words carefully.  I want my son to feel all of my support without carrying the burden of MY motherly worries.  

Tonight I have a recruit (in training at Parris Island), in 2 weeks time I will be the mother of a United States Marine!  Sometimes I am overwhelmed by the emotional roller-coaster of pride and concern that comes along with that.

Comment by 1~Faithsmom(Karen) on September 1, 2012 at 10:17am

We may cut apron string, but heart strings are made of steel. They stretch, bend, twist but don't break. It is our heart strings that allow us to "let" them become Marines.

Comment by austinsmom on August 31, 2012 at 10:11pm

Yes, so true.   I was so guilty of that as well!  Time for us to cut the apron strings!!

Comment by Txteacher1 on August 31, 2012 at 5:32am

ABSOLUTELY!!! They are the few, so we are the proud!!!!

 

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