My son, Brian, rolled in Sunday morning, early. I haven't seen him since July, and, disappointed that his leave was denied at Thanksgiving, I was beginning to miss him pretty goodly.
After 15 months of gnashing my teeth, and sharing my angst on this blog, some of you have noticed that I've quieted down about my son, since he got back from Iraq. Part of the reason for that is I am sitting back and watching him unfold, postWar. He and his friends have been stateside for 7 months. I talk to him often, sometimes for hours a week, and sometimes for seconds. I keep in touch with some of his friends, also.
He has given me permission to write openly about my observations, and I will. Eventually.
For the most part, I see these boys, these men, these soldiers, on a rollercoaster. They are in a different place every other week, drinking and scrapping one moment, then towing the line, studying, and trying to get it together the next. Not altogether unlike my "civilian sons" that grace my home when Brian visits. For now, I take notes, and give him space, and privacy.
And also, for now I bask in the fact that my son is home, this Christmas. That I am nowhere near where I was last year, on this date. And that an hour after he arrived home on Sunday, he approached me again, for a second, out-of-the-blue hug, and whispered, out of earshot of his friends, "I missed you."
That moment's coming was all I wanted for Christmas last year, and all I need for this one.