This morning at 6:30 a.m., my son reported to his first weekend as Private JMM of the Army National Guard. He will spend all weekend at Gowen Field in Boise.
I do not know much about the service, other than even the National Guard is going to Iraq. Something I am NOT happy about. But, my son has told me some of what he's doing and why he is doing this. And also I've found information online. The more I find out, the better I feel about his decision, and I have to remember - it is HIS decision - whether I like it or not.
The program he enlisted with is a School First program offering 24 months of college before any active duty. He did enlist for eight years. That's a LONG time in something if you find you're not happy! Again, this is his decision. I do hope he has great experiences and finds opportunies that brighten his future, which will make him very happy. So, he enlisted November 26, 2007 - he'll be out in November, 2015. Oh, that sounds so long from now.
I've talked with my son, my parents have talked with him, his girlfriend's parents have talked with him, all trying to give him as much support as we can and help him make this life changing decision. There are some awesome opportunities for him through the Army Nat'l Guard and as soon as I step back from being a mom full of worry, and see those opportunities he has, I think I'm good with his decision.
What I've found good about all this is, I do believe it will be good for him. Maybe he'll find a little appreciation for home and his mom. Angry teenagers seem to turn on those who love them most, he is no different.
Today, he started his once a month weekend with the Guard. In March, he'll go to basic training in Oklahoma, then transfer to Missouri for advance training, graduating in late July. From there, he'll be back home for 24 months and attending Boise State University, starting as a Sophomore.
Pvt JMM phoned late last night to let me know he was staying over at his girlfriend's for the night. He would leave early and get to Gowen Field about 6:15 a.m. I reminded him it was snowing and the roads would most likely be icy in the morning, to be very careful on his drive. He said he'd go slow. I wanted so badly to give him a hug and was sad that I didn't see him before he left. (I'm being such a BOOB! He's only gone until tomorrow afternoon.) I told him, "Good luck, tomorrow!" and that I loved him.
This morning I woke up at 7 a.m. to find an inch of snow on the ground. The house is empty, just me and the dogs. It's my son's girlfriend's, LJ, 17th birthday today. Her family is having a weekend full of parties for her. Pvt JMM is missing those. I had a gift for LJ. She stopped by after school yesterday to see me. She and Pvt JMM left after just a few minutes to start her birthday celebration with her friends.
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