My son went away to the military after he graduated high school. His mother and I both hoped that he would stick around and go to college in our area instead, so it was a big surprise when he joined the service. We both knew that meant that we wouldn’t see him very much for many more years. When his service time was fulfilled, he did come home, though. I searched for ways to connect with him, and found that ability through clay pigeon shooting with him on a regular basis. He was an excellent shot in the military, and I knew that he would jump at the chance to do it more on a recreational basis.
We were always very close to our only child. We did not have him until late in life, and this is because we had tried to have children for many years prior to his birth, but we were unable to. When we found out that my wife was pregnant with our son, we were absolutely elated. We had almost given up on the chance of having a child of our own. We threw ourselves into taking care of him and loving him from the very day that we brought him home. So his mom was quite a bit upset when she learned that he would be going away for so long after high school. She worried that he would be hurt. She worried that he would stay in until retirement, which would mean he would move around country and the world.
When our son decided that retiring 30 years from now from his branch of service was not for him, he told us that he missed us and wanted to home with us. We told him that our place was open to him any time. Every Saturday morning, I now take him out for a morning of clay shooting. We are really enjoying getting caught up with one another.