Glare and chaos of the holidays behind, it's time to focus on what's ahead....

My oldest boy is preparing to leave for Marine Boot Camp. At this stage of his career he is called a "poolee" - which basically means he's waiting to be sworn in as a "recruit" the day before he leaves for boot camp. He will not get to wear the distinction of the "Marine" title until he gradutes next summer.

This is a tough place. I've taken the liberty of arming myself with any resource available for military moms, joined a few groups, bookmarked a zillion pages, updated my MySpace with vidoe tributes, etc. I'm getting "the boy" up at the crack of dawn to work out and jog - conditioning for his training. I'm officially on the "military mom" diet - eat NOTHING cause I'm stressed, 12 hours later eat EVERYTHING cause I'm stressed.

We've planned the "going away party", notified the friends and family who are all on standby to furiously write letters of encouragement for 13 weeks - braced them all for the "homesick stage" during week 3, and made arrangements to stay with relatives near the base at the time he graduates.

All the siblings have been assigned duties for "guarding" his most prized possessions in his absence - I'm pretty sure most of them will be rendered obsolete by the time he returns. He won't be a kid anymore, I doubt they'll hold the same value as before.

11 weeks to go and counting......

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