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The moment has arrived.

The anticipation of this moment is why I started this blog in the first place.

My son, my oldest child, leaves for his mission in 3 days. Tomorrow is his farewell at church.

[Insert Dad’s actual primal scream here]

Primal Scream

What a hodgepodge of emotion.

  • I’m devastated that he’s been successfully indoctrinated enough to arrive at this point.
  • I’m excited for him to see the world outside his insular Mormon community,
  • I’m thrilled he’ll get to experience leaving the country for an extended period of time.
  • I’m disappointed that he hasn’t really thought about what he’ll really be doing.
  • I’m feeling inadequate and powerless to prepare him for the reality of what’s ahead.
  • I’m troubled that he hasn’t even remotely gone through the process that he’ll be encouraging his investigators to go through.
  • I’m disappointed in myself, that I haven’t done enough to expose him to the alternative.
  • I’m feeling left out of all the Mormon-ish preparations and celebratory events.
  • I feel intentionally left out of the fatherly role entirely.
  • I feel like I’m losing my son to a cult… officially
  • I am worried about his physical welfare…I know the piss-poor conditions of missionary accommodations, the lack of concern for health, the lack of vigilance for his health and well-being by the church he’ll be working for.
  • I’m proud that his stated goal is to serve and love his fellow man and make their burdens lighter.
  • I’m feeling powerless to explain to him that his main objective on a mission is to CONVERT and that that’s not the same same thing  as “serving.”
  • I will miss him.
  • He’s a well liked young man. I like him. He’s clever, funny, sarcastic, talented and intelligent. He has an honest heart and a sensitive demeanor.
  • I’m dreading the farewell. I’ll see all my former ex-in-laws but also my own family who have treated me like shit.
  • I dream of the day I can share a beer with my son. Not for the beer. For what it represents.

Bottom line:

I am glad I’m his father. I love him no matter what. The pain and struggle I’m feeling now is my own. It represents my own life experience and I can’t expect him to realize at 18 what it took me 38 years to discover.

I’m trying to focus on the positive, and ignore the pain.

Funny.

I’m putting all the negative on a shelf and turning it off… again.

Turn it Off

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