I’ve been thinking…

A daily read of mine, New Girl On Post had an interesting post up on whether or not you would want your son to join the military.

I’ve thought about this a lot.

I know my boys are young little ones and while it seems like the time for that decision is light years away one of the first lessons learned in parenting is that time flies. First sleeping thru the night, then potty training, nursery school, riding the big boy bus, first job, first girlfriend…. all right so perhaps I am a bit ahead of myself.

But seriously sometimes they do seem to grow up overnight.

When I was pregnant with Dash-1 flyboy was deployed so I was alone at the ultrasound when the tech told me that we were going to have a boy. The first thing that I thought about was, oh God my baby is going to go into the military.

Flyboys first reaction when he called the night after was and I remember this perfectly, crappy phone connection and all, “Oh my God a son. I don’t have to pay for a wedding!”.

We will not push our sons into the military, neither of us is grooming for that. Both have college savings account and higher education is very important to us. We joke about the boys going to a service academy and flyboy buying a very nice car with their college money, but its not a predetermined path in our house.

But I am also not blind to the fact that its a very likely possibility. Both of flyboy’s grandfathers were in the military, his father was a career Marine, and then there is my dear flyboy and well we all know what he’s doing with his time.

It seems to me that there certainly is a chance, a darn good one at that, that one of my boys will join up. I’d even make a bet and put my money on the Corps.

How do I feel about that?

Let me put it this way. I sit in my comfy glider chair at night when I’m reading stories or just sitting with one or both of them and I sometimes find myself kissing the tops of their heads. Their short hair is just so soft after bath and it smells so fresh. I kiss their heads and its as if I am trying to capture those moments forever.

And I think.

I think that these simple moments must be the memories that so many moms of very grown, very capable, and very honorable men who paid the ultimate price must remember.

When I think about the fallen, I think about the wife and the kids left behind, but now I also think about his mom. The one who watched him grow up from a boy to a man and then into a warrior.

Who is now left with the memory of nuzzling his soft little head in a rocking chair.

I had thought about our kids joining up briefly before we had kids. I thought about the statistics of it logically like I outlined, but once I held my baby boys I felt the emotion of it.

Irregardless of what path they take in life military or college, they will leave the house at some point. They will go forth and start their lives as productive, responsible, young men. As a mom I want nothing more. And nothing would make me prouder to see my sons in uniform like their father.

But there is something in me that knows that if they choose the military it will be a different sort of striking out. They maybe made into men a little earlier, a little rougher, and a lot further from my reaches.

Thank God I have time.

What are you thoughts about your kids following down the military path either joining or marrying into it?

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6 Responses

  1. First off, what a great question……..it really makes you think of how you would react if your son/daughter came to you and said…….”I want to join and/or marry into the military”.

    As parents we all want our children to make the right decisions/choices in their lives. But realistically once our children reach the age of adulthood, we no longer have the right to make life choices for them. We can only stand by and hope with all of our hearts that the love, morals and guidance we provided them in their youth will help them in making their way in life.

    My youngest son (29) has been a Navy Seabee for 11 years and I am very proud of him. I never questioned his decision to follow in his father’s and stepfather’s footsteps, or his desire to serve his country. His wife is expecting their first child the end of this year, (which he may or may not be home for). I can only hope their child, my grandchild, can/will also someday stand proud and serve the flag and this great country and the freedoms it stands for.

    As for marrying into the military……..yes it is sometimes difficult due to deployments and many long hours of work. As a submariner wife, I never in my wildest dreams thought my sailor would be sent on an IA deployment to a foreign country and be “boots on the ground”, but he has. The military lifestyle has allowed me and our daughters the ability to “adapt” to any situation that is thrown our way.

    But the ability to travel and live in foreign countries and in many different areas of the US is indeed a plus. Our children have seen and lived in many different areas of the US that they may never have been able to see had they grown up in one place all their lives. They have also made many friends whom we consider “family”, because they are our Navy “family”. Yes, there are also drawbacks…… changing schools every 15-24 months, as we have never stayed longer than that in any one duty station. But I honestly feel our children are more capable and can adapt to anything that life throws at them, because they are stronger for being military “brats”.

    So I guess whichever life choice my children make, be it active/reserve, married to the military, college, or a cilivilian life style I will stand by them and still be the proud Mom that I am.

  2. I’ve been on both sides, active duty Air Force and now a Navy spouse. I would be proud either way. I would just make sure they had as much information as possible. As we know, while a very honorable path it can also be one of many sacrifices.

  3. I was actually just thinking about something similar today. My son is only 16 months old and I am already seeing how much he is like his dad. I would never push him to be in the Military and would love to see him choose a job that doesn’t involve fighting wars, but if he decided to follow in his dads footsteps I would support him through every step and I would be very very proud of him

  4. I enjoyed your post. I’m sure it would be so hard, but if my child wanted to join the military too, I would never try to persuade her otherwise.

  5. Hi – I have a couple of things here. Our son was in, is now out after a tour in the Sand. My DH is still in, one tour in the Litterbox down and we just got notified his next one is early next year. Did we encourage the son to go in? at the time, with no war (pre 9/11) it was an option we encouraged since he was a) not in college b) drifting about aimlessly. He went into the Guard and came back from basic a lot more …. grown up? is that the right word. When he went Active – and called me from his posting in Germany (3 hours after checking in) to tell me his unit was leaving for Iraq in 2003-4… I did a lot of crying and soul searching and wishing.

    Now – he’s home with a PTSD diagnosis.. and I still do the soul searching and wishing – but he’s taken control, is getting help and working/going to school/taking care of his little girl and wife. and I couldn’t be prouder.

    I am wondering, ladies, if I could link to and post this discussion on ParentsZone.org. It’s a place for the parents of serving military and this discussion would be a great addition to our site.

    LAW

  6. Shows you how out of the loop I am. I didn’t realize you posted this and I just shared my post today on the same subject. Oy. Sorry.

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