Phone call with my brother- Dilemma to say the least

My brother and I talked last night. It was wonderful because he’s been in Iraq for the past year and a half and this conversation happened from his personal cell phone, with him sitting safe and sound in his home in Texas. This was his third deployment. I feel REEEEEAAAAL lucky that now, three times he’s gone and three times he’s come back. I thought I was lucky the first time. Blessed.
The part of the conversation I want to discuss with you is the part where he offered to take my son into his custody for a year. Not legally… it wasn’t that kind of conversation. No. He’s just sincerely concerned for us and he thought that if my son could live with him for a year, it would give me the ability to get my life together. He “just wanted to put the offer out there”. I was very grateful for it.
The conflict it created in me was this:
I do not want to be separated from my son. He has been my one inspiration for getting my life together and not having him around might be more of a distraction. I would miss him like crazy.
BUT
My brother has everything I have ever wanted for my son (and myself). He has a stable home with a mom (my sister in-law) and dad (my brother) as well as kids (my nieces and nephews) for my son to share time with, play with, not be lonely anymore with. It’s a wonderful environment for him.
It’s everything I’ve wanted to give him. But haven’t.
Whether or I haven’t because I couldn’t or because I didn’t, I don’t know. I do know that siblings were not an option (providing for one is hard enough). I’d love more children, but not alone. I also know that I didn’t choose for my son’s father to not stay with me. What I did choose was to have a child with a man who I knew wasn’t in love with me. Our lives are the sum of our choices. In hind-sight I can see all the foolish choices I made. Some I realized were foolish. Others I’d actually thought were the right thing to do. Hind sight is not really helping right now. Now I have to think about whether or not to send my son over a thousand miles away from me, for what might be, what is better for him. I’m not sure how to proceed.
What I am sure of is this: If the offer wasn’t something that I felt good about, I wouldn’t still be thinking about it. My brother would be the constant male role model that my son has never had. I’ve always wished he lived closer for that reason. Being military, my brother is strict. The discipline would be good for my son. And the stable environment would be healthy for him… maybe he wouldn’t want to come back???
What worries me is this…
Am I a selfish bitch for not saying YES right away, for not wanting to accept the offer even though, for my son,  there don’t seem to be any downsides. I’m still holding out for this Wednesday, when I see whether or not I will be able to secure an apartment for the two of us. Check this out: what I will be paying in rent up here in CT, is just slightly less then what my brother pays for his mortgage and utilities combined down in Texas. Am I living in the wrong state??? Honestly, I’d move down with my son if I could secure a job down there. For real. I don’t have to stay up here. I just don’t want to move away from my only support system (friends and family up here) without knowing that I have a steady job where ever we would move. Why move into more uncertainty? But when I job search, I search all over the country ( I’d go international to). This mommy will travel.
I do not think my brother has room for me, Shelby and my son. I’m not insulted he didn’t make that offer. I’m actually surprised that I wasn’t  insulted. I don’t generally believe that taking a child away from (a) parent (s) that love it is ever a good thing. Abuse/neglect aren’t problems here… just money, so why should I have to give my child away for us to get help? Shouldn’t people be trying to help us stay together? That is what I have always, very strongly, felt. So I’m not really sure I wasn’t insulted at all that my brother made this offer. Maybe it was the way he offered. He wasn’t accusing or judgmental, just concerned. And he left it open for me to decide. He didn’t even end the conversation with the quasi- demanding “Well… think about it”. He reiterated that the offer stood and moved on to another topic. I didn’t feel threatened by it at all. But the reality of it… living without my boy? I hate it. I don’t want to live without him. Strong statement I know. And, looking at it objectively, an unsettling one. My son can not bare the burden of being my whole life’s happiness. Other parents will know that inevitably that is what children become to you, it’s unavoidable… but not wanting to live without them? Is that a little too much responsibility for a child? He is only 11 though. I’m not talking about an adolescent that’s preparing to pack up for college. Should I be ready to let him go when he’s only 11? The answer has to be YES: if it’s for his own good. And my brother very well may be right… it may be the best for me as well, for the both of us. Ummmm… dilemma to say the least.
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