A month ago my son Jordan entered the MTC (Missionary Training Center), and from there he'll be heading to Japan in July to be a missionary. Jordan is nineteen and a senior at BYU University, but this is the first time he's left home. These past few years, he's basically used our house as a place to hang his hat, so to speak. He's been busy with school and work, and we really didn't see him that much. So when he went on a mission for our Church, I didn't really think life would be that different.
But it is.
I can't go down to his room at night and chat and see how he's doing. I can't ask him if he's having dinner with us. I don't see him as he comes and goes. I can't ask him to help me lift something, grab a pizza, or pick up the kids from school.
Almost, it's as though he died, though I get an e-mail each week from him and the occasional letter. I've kept so busy that you would think I wouldn't have time to miss him. No one else in the family seems to feel his loss so acutely. Is that because I'm his mother? Because he's the oldest of our children and the first to leave? We've been so close all his life, and I've always been there for him. Now I can't be.
He'll be okay—he's a smart kid. I'm excited that he has this wonderful opportunity, and I'm proud of his selflessness. It's not every kid who'd leave shortly before finishing college to teach people about Christ for two years. I admire him for making that choice, and I can see by his letters that he's learning so much. After a month away, he doesn't even miss us because he's so involved.
But I still miss him so much it hurts every time I think about him (which is a lot), and I don't think that will go away until I pick him up in Japan in 2011. Until then, I've been weaning myself from writing him so much. This week I sent only two e-mails, and no letters. Next week, though, I'm going to send him his favorite raspberry-filled donuts.