It was a rough adjustment. For me, that is... not him! He left his phone at home, with our encouragement, but the day after he left, I realized that I didn't have the ability to check in with him during his stay, to see how he was enjoying it!
He texted on Monday night, using his roommate's phone. Here's the extent of that conversation (verbatim - despite the fact that the grammar/spelling MAKES MY EYE TWITCH!):
Connor: Hey mom, its connor. Im using my roomates phone. The phone lines are down so i cant call but its fun so far. Btw, we wake up at 0550 and to bed 2130. Anyway i cant talk for long so its fun hear and yea. I gtg, i love you byee.
Mom: Glad you r having fun! Dad and I were just talking about you and wondering how it was going!! Have a great time - I sent you a letter today with a phone card so you should get it this week!
Mom: Miss you!!
Mom: Get to bed! LOL
(For the record, Connor always teases me about how I just type away in a bunch of texts instead of sending one big text. Point taken...)
Connor: Ok i am, they kept us uo a bit longer. Kk, love you.
Mom: Luv u too!
Connor: Ok i am
After that convo, I felt a bit better. Glad to hear he was making friends and immersing himself in camp life. Life here in La Belle Riviere continued on - the lack of sibling arguments made for a quiet house!
On Thursday, I received another text:
Connor: Hey mom :-) been a bit busy. But its been really fun. We did sailing yesterday and seamanship the day before. To day was fitness sports and music. I did good, may have gotten the silver medal in it:-) idk yet. Anyway, ranger tomorrow and wfalers on saturday, were free sunday. And i met emily.
(That should read whalers, which are whaling boatings - and Emily is the daughter of my wonderful friend, Karen! She is a counseler at HMCS Ontario this summer!)
Mom: Awesome! So glad you're having fun and making new friends! What a wonderful experience for you!
Mom: Are you gunning for the Top Cadet award at graduation again? :)
Mom: We miss you lots around here! And please thank your roomie for us for letting you send updates!!
Mom: Did you get my letter yet?
(Okay, so maybe he's right about the whole 147 texts before he gets a chance to reply...)
Connor: No not yet and ive already said thanks. I miss you to, cant wait to see you. And yes im going for that award :-)
Mom: I knew you would!! Very proud of you sweetie! Have a great time and call on Sunday if you get a chance!!
Mom: Love you
Connor: Ok ill try. And i met emily. And im in the quebec division. Theres 4, acadia, abalone, quada and quebec. Ik everyone in it and theres also a dance on saturday. Anway, gtg, merry christmas in july, cant wait to see you, love you, byee
(To clarify, the General Training cadets are split into four divisions: Acadia, Avalon, Quadra and Quebec. And for the record, I giggled a little bit when he boasted how he knew everyone, because I kept reminding him before he left how he should try to make a new friend every day!)
Mom: Ok have fun!! I keep watching the FB page for updates! See you soon - it's almost been a week already!! Gnight - and merry Xmas! :)
He did call on Sunday - collect, I might add, because Canada Post can't seem to get a letter from Windsor to Kingston in four days... He rattled on for nearly twenty minutes and I could barely get a word in! It did my heart proud to hear him so happy, and finally finding his groove.
We decided to drive up for the final graduation ceremony (thanks, Karen, for suggesting it!!). They marched out in formation onto the huge parade square.
I snapped three photos of the entire square, and using an awesome tool in PhotoShop, I stitched them all together! It's not perfect but what a handy tool!!
The Reviewing committee then completed a uniform inspection of all divisions. Here, they are inspecting Connor's uniform:
He had sent me a brief text on the day before the ceremony, hinting that he would be getting a medal so when I saw one around his neck, I wasn't surprised. However, in glancing through the programs during the Reviewing, I noticed this:
The cheeky little bugger! He DID win the Top Cadet award in his division!!!
Doesn't he look so handsome in his uniform? In this photo, I see a sneak peek of the man that he may become, if he continues on, into the Navy as he is hoping to...
Bravo Zulu, LS Sykes - you make your momma proud... ♥