Linda left for Marine Boot Camp eleven days ago.
My brave daughter, who is "too tired" to take our dog Kevin for a walk if she has had fewer than 10 hours of sleep.
Whose bedroom consistently looks like it has been struck by an F5 Tornado.
Who has to take a nap if she sneezes.
Who has, on occasion, come home missing a shoe.
And who has never made her bed. In her life.
As you might imagine, I am a wee bit worried about her survival at Parris Island.
I’ve been engaging with the Parris Island Facebook Group for the families of the recruits who are in Linda’s “company.”
This Facebook group has been a lifesaver for me. The administrators provide details about what’s going on each day and what to expect in the days to come.
But what’s even more helpful (and therapeutic) are the posts from other families. The people experiencing the same struggles as I am.
I read a post from a distressed Mom who cried herself to sleep in her son’s bed the night he left. And from parents who never got the call saying their son or daughter safely arrived at Parris Island.
These parents, like me, live in a world of angst and worry. All are baring their hearts to complete strangers on this wall. We’ve become a virtual support group- BFFs from across the country.
Our latest fears relate to addresses. Word started getting out that some parents had their kid’s addresses and some didn’t. Those who didn’t were rightfully worried that their kid would be the only one not getting a letter from home.
As you can imagine, the posts on this wall are oozing with emotion.
We’re talking Nicholas Sparks ooze.
Until Megan M.’s post.
Now to be fair, Megan M. is young. Perhaps the girlfriend of a recruit.
In the midst of these highly emotional posts, Megan writes,
It made me laugh out loud.
Why Megan, don’t you know it's the Stamp Fairy who brings stamps to your house?
But she doesn’t go down the chimney like Santa. Rather she slips in, elusively, through the dryer vent, and gracefully descends to the desk, where she carefully places the stamps. Sprinkled with magic pixie dust.
And Megan, if you’ve been a good little girl, the Stamp Fairy will bring you fun stamps. Like Harry Potter.
But if you’ve been naughty, the Stamp Fairy may bring you some Jesus stamps.
(Just say a couple Hail Mary's over the letter before you mail it.)
And if your grades are not up to par, she will probably bring you an Albert Einstein stamp.
Now, perhaps I’m being a bit hard on poor, unaware Megan. Who most likely used up the last stamp without her parents knowing it.
Because guess what?
Megan’s post was a welcome distraction from my fears and anxiety.
It reminded me to look for the humor in this crazy whacked out existence.
So, yes, Megan, there is a Stamp Fairy. She exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy.
Let’s just hope that there’s also a Basic Training fairy.
And Linda finds her.