The thing about your kids growing up is that suddenly, they are off, being grown ups and there isn't a damned thing you can do about it.
I mean, I support my eighteen year old son's decision to join the Navy. In theory anyhow. The military takes long haired squishy children and turns them into strong jawed men and women with purpose. What mother wouldn't want such a transformation in her son? One day he's debating the particulars of Pokemon battles and the next day he's preserving and defending the Union.
In practice, it's coming at me fast.
Today I dropped off my son at the Navy recruiter's office so that an adorable and crisply ironed Petty Officer can take my boy's innocent childhood and squash it through MEPS.
MEPS. Military Enlistment Processing Station.
Transformation tangent, courtesy of my hormone brain, this kind of processing is like turning Velveeta into brie? Like turning Twinkies into tiramisu? Like turning crude oil into glittering lip gloss?
Anyhow, the government has put my son up in a fine hotel for tonight only to wake him at 4 in the morning, stuff food in his mouth, barrage him with forms, take his blood, collect his pee, and make him twist about in his underwear and out of it.
At the end of this he'll take an oath which declares he's no longer mine. He's no longer his Dad's. He's his own man and he's given himself to Uncle Sam.
I was teary on the drive home.
Not a damned thing I can do about that either.
Thursday, September 27, 2012
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