Some of you know my stats: single mom, three amazing
boys young men. Heck, I have my own YouTube channel with nothing but videos of their particular accomplishments in the arts, etc. so I'm a rather proud mom.
My feelings this week have really run the gamut. I'm always proud of them, happy with them, exhausted because of them (LOL), and scared shitless that something will happen to them. How very mom-like, right? I have reason to be.
This week my oldest, who is in his second year of college, enlisted in the military. Actually, he enlisted for 6 years in Special Forces. He is a recruiter's dream -- he is physically amazing, has black belts in two martial arts, is intelligent, and would make an amazing poster boy for any branch. He takes his language test soon, begins boot camp this summer, and will spend two years after that in school and physical training for who-knows-what before he is deployed to some region of the world where I'll never really know where he is or if he's alive until he calls afterward to just say "hi, I'm okay". There will come a time when every knock at the door will make my heart jump into my throat in fear that someone in uniform will be standing on the other side of the door with the worst news possible, or that I'll get that phone call from a hospital saying he's hurt. I know the drill. My ex was a cop, so this is familiar territory as I got that phone call one night, but at least not the knock on the door.
Being a high-information type of person, I asked my son to please tell me how he got here. I know his politics: he hates it all. He doesn't like to talk about things; he prefers to act. He's never really expressed a kind of passion or devotion to fighting for his country and our bizarre politics, just disappointment that things don't seem to go fairly or the way they should at times. He's aware of the current world situation, but doesn't follow it the way some do. He enjoys history, but hates having to take exams on it. He is about as physically perfect as anyone can get and is frequently asked if he's on steroids, but he's very careful about what he puts in his body. He gets annoyed as hell when he doesn't advance to the next level on Call to Duty or whatever that stupid video game is, but reacts the same way to the football one as well.
He indulged me by answering my questions. He wishes things would go back to the way they were originally intended to be, with fairness and the Golden Rule still in play, as opposed to money controlling everything. He's taking the classes that he wants in college, but knows that even if he graduates with a bachelor's degree, it won't be enough and he'll need a masters and then still won't get a job because he's a young white guy in a society that is so politically correct about some things that we go way too far the other direction. He loves music but not the music industry because it's not about the music anymore. He knows he has abilities that others don't have, and he's looking for a way to do something that makes an impact.
It's a start. I could probably ask him a million questions about the why's and the what's and so on, and it would never be enough because I'm still his mother and he's still my baby and I'm scared to death that he will be killed by someone who will never know how amazing he is or see how blue his eyes are, or worse ... he will "live" in pieces with a limb missing or a traumatic brain injury and be mentally and emotionally destroyed for the rest of his life.
I'm still processing. I love my son. I support my son and his choice because of who he is and has always been, but I don't like the fact that he could end up as idealistic cannon fodder fighting in a war that the majority of people in this country don't care about unless they are the ones making millions from the oil or consulting contracts in a country on the other side of the world where they don't really want us to be and for a nation that will most likely forget about him when and if he comes home.
I don't know if I'll ever really be able to process this, at least, not until years from now when he's home safe for good and I can die first as a happy old grandmother. It's like I told him the other night, "I brought you into this world;I should possess the first right of refusal on taking you out." They haven't called me Drill Sergeant Mom all these years for nothing, I guess.
If you have any tips for me on how to get through this, I'll take them.
And the next time you see a soldier, thank them ... and their mothers.