Monday, August 19, 2013

Monday Missives - Boot Camp

One reason I haven't been writing very much this summer is because I've been getting my writing fix in composing letters to my boy.  I thought it might be fun to share some of our messages (he's ok with it - I asked!) on Mondays.

(Alec, middle of July) The weather has been crazy!  It has been 100 degrees plus almost every day that I have been here.  That generally means that by mid-day we are in "heat cat. five" uniforms, which consist of unbuttoning the wrists of our jackets and rolling up our pants to the top of our boots.  (I haven't gotten one blister yet, although my feet are sore every day.)  By dinnertime we have to go take a cold shower and change into P.T.s, (short sleeve shirt and shorts).  But the last few (3) days we have had rain and thunderstorms.  I love the rain, but it makes training miserable in unbearable ways.

(end of July) I'm still adapting to the military lifestyle... We are still in red phase.  Red phase is what they call total control, we can't do anything without a drill sergeant.  Once we phase up to white phase, we get more time at night for personal stuff, which means that you will get letters more frequently.  

(Answering some questions we asked)  Is basic hard?  Yes and no, because it is physically demanding on you every day, and you are sore 24/7.  Yes because of all the mental stress and pressure they put on you.  Drill sergeants are always yelling, you're always running.  No, because it's like summer camp sometimes.

What do I do for fun?  Nothing.  I have no time to myself.  That's the short answer.

What is basic like?  A lot of P.T., yelling and running, and classes that put you to sleep.

What is my schedule like?  Wake up at 0400 or 0500, formation for accountability at 05:45, P.T. from 0600 to 0700, change, breakfast at 0800 to 0900, training until noon, lunch for half an hour, back to training 'till 1700, train, clean, personal time for 30 minutes, then lights out at 2130.

I have to say, I do miss home.  I miss just being able to go for a bike ride or take a nap whenever I want to.

(from my recent letter)  We survived the first day of school.  David went to school a day early, for the 7th graders to find their classes and get lost without fear of getting pounded.  He did get lost a few times, but he's getting it down fairly quickly.  He has men's dance, and thinks he'll be able to do the splits by the end of the term.  

Ben's choir teacher had exclamations about how long his hair is getting.  She doesn't want him to cut it because they are doing an Elvis song for their fall concert, and his hair (dyed dark, of course) would be "just perfect" for an Elvis pompadour.  Ben is typically hesitant to even try out for the solo, not liking to perform in public.  

Chris is happy that he is playing tenor saxophone again this year, instead of having to lug around the heavy bari.  He is in the AP computer science class that normally only seniors take - and he's bored so far.  I think he will really enjoy that one.  

We walked Eddie to school today... and Trent called in a bit late to work so he could come along, too.  Eddie already likes his teacher a lot.  It was a hard decision to figure out where he should go to school, but I think we made the right choice (to have him at our neighborhood elementary).  I'm at peace now and the worried, anxious feelings have vanished.

I am looking forward to spending some focused time with these little ones (Angel and the twins) in home preschool (I have taught preschool at home to all the children).  I think some of their recent trends of temper tantrums and moodiness is due to not having enough mental challenges.  No matter how much we'd like to quit something uninteresting, or how much we think we deserve a break, the fact remains that we are not meant to be sedentary creatures.  Our bodies, minds, and spirits were designed to be stretching and growing.  As soon as we get comfortable in a state of relax, we start to atrophy,  Our muscles weaken, our minds get mushy, our resolve starts to dissolve.  There is nothing wrong with resting - we do require some downtime - but it needs to be short.  Continuing and working and enduring is what we should be about.  Not too fast, but just steady.

Love, Mom 

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