There are times that I think that this whole thing has calmed down and then reality hits. At times I’ve thought maybe he’s changed his mind, but then there’s the email: “Mom, can you take me to this career fair? The Air Force will be there.”
Ummmm, no. That’s what I wanted to say.
Just the night before, as we were driving home from a quiz bowl meet I checked in with J. To be honest, in the car is my favorite time to do that. He can’t escape, and when you have a teen, that is paramount.
The conversation started with my telling my son how absolutely proud I was of him for his participation in the quiz bowl meet. He did extremely well and nearly broke a record for most questions answered (which he achieved the next night). I reminded him that all of this work he’s doing now and the impressions he’s making will make an impact on his future.
It seems that he’s cataloging those that he’ll ask for help with his future when that time comes. “I’m going to ask so-and-so if they would be willing to write this-and-that for me”, etc. That’s when it came. The reality that he hasn’t changed his mind.
It was me, actually, that wished we weren’t in a car. I wanted to escape that next conversation. The idea that if he decides to join the military, he has to be willing to lay down his life for his country. To be honest, I have no idea what this feeling is or what it means. How could you unless you’ve been faced with it.
I know that I would, without a doubt, do that for a few. I would for my son and I would for those I love. In fact, if I’ve ever said that to you, you are one of those that I would. But for those I don’t know or a whole country? That may not be a part of me. I do know, that it is in J whether I want it to be or not. I knew it when he volunteered to sing the National Anthem at a basketball game, when he doesn’t sing, and he knew he would be made fun of for it, and never once did he care, just because it’s important to him that it be done.
So, here we go. March 4th. The recruiter- to hear more options and the moment I’m going to try to not be the embarrassing mom that asks too many questions. Oh, and there’s that not crying all the way home when I see the excitement in his eye when he’s replaying all the facts of the conversation to me.
So yah. Instead of, “ummmmm, no,“ to the answer to the above question of whether or not I could take him to the career fair, it was instead greeted with, absolutely.
And remember when I said that he broke the record the next night at the quiz bowl meet? The first text about his accomplishment went to me. That’s right. Proud mama.