I received a nice surprise Sunday morning - a 37 min, 4 sec phone call at 9:33 AM from a number I didn't recognize. As I was hoping it might, it turned out to be my soldier son.
After chastising him initially for only calling his dad several days prior when he received his replacement cell phone and not calling his mother to tell her he received it (you know, the mother who replaced the lost cell phone, pays for it every month, and sends stamps/ envelopes/ notepads), we moved on to better things.
As we were talking, I went to his siblings' rooms and woke them up so they could be in on the conversation. We sat around with him on speaker and all asked questions and laughed together. He sounded good after having sounded so pitiful in his last letter when he was 'swallowing razorblades.' The military doc wasn't as nice as Dr. Mom, but he got better pretty quickly anyway.
He and his youngest brother talked about real Claymore mines vs. the ones in Call of Duty (i.e. the oversimplification in the game). He went into detail about how to set one, and to make sure you kept the detonator with you at all times so your friend wouldn't blow it while you were setting it. (So naturally Mom had to point out that someone who would do that wasn't your friend. Hey, I'll always be the mom.) Like all boys, they also talked about which weapons were the most fun to fire (50 cal and RPG launchers). It warmed a mother's heart.
We won't get to be there for Family Day next month as we're closing on a house then. We will get to see him at the graduation ceremony the following month, however. We're all driving over, with my ex (what in God's name was I thinking when I agreed to that), and may get to have him ride back with us, depending on when they actually send him to jump school (airborne training).
He mentioned that the PT wasn't as hard as he thought it would be. This is a young man with black belts in two martial arts, a former football/baseball player, already in crazy-good physical shape when he went in as he would put himself through torturous workouts prior to induction because he wanted to make sure he could keep up. His knee and his elbow seem to be okay, so far.
He mentioned that he has several new brothers now as they are all getting pretty tight with the training. His spirits were good. It's only the beginning of a very long road, and only 20% of them at best will make it to SF, but he says he feels like he made a good choice. If only our politicians would, but that's another blog.
By the way, the reason I didn't recognize the number he was calling from was that his DS was away that morning and didn't unlock the cell phones before he left so my son had to borrow one from someone in another platoon. I did let my son know that he would be paying for his own phone from now on. Until he could get the service transferred, I would be deducting the $ from his account every month. Mom can still be a hard-a$$ when necessary. Hey, he's getting a paycheck.
I wonder if that soldier thanked HIS mom for the phone ... I know I would like to!