Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Got me 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 boy. I don't have to pay for a wedding!".

We will not push our sons into the military, neither of us is grooming them 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 the military is 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 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 that I am a mom, I also think about his mom.

The woman who watched him grow up from a boy to a man and then into a warrior. The one 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.


  1. I came across your blog and started reading this post. oh, my God! I am thinking about this too. I am starting life with my Airman and I have been thinking a lot about same issue - if we have a baby boy one day will he join military one day as his dad did? - your post is excellent and only thing I can say is that I agree with you; that's smart thinking.

  2. That is a great post, Mrs. Seriously. All of it is very well put and well thought out...not a knee jerk reaction (like I like to have at times).

  3. how about got me crying...

    seriously i don't even want to think about the babe growing up and leaving. i know it's reality. but not gonna lie i choose to ignore it for now :)

    but soon after i did have beans i too started thinking of those military mamas. i used to think about the wife and the kids, but the mom of a fallen solider? i just can't imagine...

  4. Hi, I went over to the New Girl on Post and left a comment, you may be interested in my point of view.

  5. I cried reading this, the part about the moms remembering their fallen sons when they were small really started the waterworks.

    I think you wrote this very well, very well put.

  6. If you keep writing thing like this I will have to stop reading you at work. Your making me get all teared up Im sure someone will notice.

  7. We joke about it but I do wonder if my girls will want to go that route. I almost did (my family was in the military, not Stretch's).

  8. Alright - you have tears in my eyes and chills up and down my spine. What a beautiful, well-written post coming straight from the heart.

    I must say that one of the things I thought of when the ultrasound tech told me I was having a girl was "She'll never get drafted"....we just want to keep them sweet, young & in our arms forever, don't we?


  9. Just wanted to add husband joined the Army after spending 6 years in college. He got his Bachelors degree, then his Masters degree. He spent the better part of 3 years trying to find work in his line of study (music). He never got a full time job, just sub slots or half time. It was a tough decision for him to join the military, but he felt he would be able to play, and possibly mentor younger military musicians.

    Higher education is VERY important...but it doesn't always work out for the best. I'm extremely pleased at the way his life went, for I would never have met him otherwise...

    And for me - I joined the military to pay for my education. I got hurt (in a car accident, not military related) and had to leave the military. I got neither my job, career or education because of the timing. I sure do wish I'd had parents savvy enough to save for MY education!

  10. First thanks for coming by my blog.
    Now as I wipe my eyes, I have to tell you sorry this might be long.

    Great post!

    Our oldest son just left for college this past weekend. Thought about the military but college it is. As for the next son in four years not sure what he will do. My husband was military and on my side of the family was is military. Every male every generation as far back as I know.

    I would be so proud as a mother but as they get older it gets harder and harder to keep saying that because of the news. All the young men coming home as fallen soliders.

  11. What a beautifully written post. Very though provokng indeed.

  12. This post made me teary eyed. For some reason, I always think about the moms, too.


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