Monday, September 16, 2013

Monday Missives

And this, THIS is the reason we spent all that time on the road.  It sure wasn't because we wanted to sit in the van and eat hot dogs together.

This is the awkward hug when you both turn your faces the same way.  But I was too happy to see him to care.  Late on the fourth day after we left home (after the family reunion), we finally pulled into the campground on the military base.  It was very, very late at night, and the gate guards looked scary to me.  But we got in, found our campsite, set up the tent trailer, and sacked out.  First thing the next morning, we rolled out of bed and ate a hearty breakfast.

OK, I fess up.  It was cold cereal, one of the fastest breakfasts in the West.  We found Alec's building and waited for the "Family Day" program to start.

Not sure what dance David is doing there, but it's cute.  The drill sergeants gave us a brief explanation of all the things they had been teaching in basic training, and then the soldiers lined up and marched in.

Of all the spots on the bleachers, we had picked out the exact right place to sit.  When they marched in and turned to face us, Alec was right smack in front of us.  I couldn't help it.  I waved frantically like a little girl.  Still a little bit embarrassed about that.

They did some drills, to show us how regimented they are now.  They were sharp.  Except when they, from the drill sergeant's orders, drew in a deep breath, held it, and let it out slowly while whispering, "I really wanna kill somebody."  That was chilling, and I am still pondering the morality of training the human-ness out of a soldier so they would be able to fire at the enemy.  But then they gave them leave to go, and we got Alec for the rest of the day.  Booyah!

The Family Day program was one morning, and graduation was the next morning.  But through both days, we got to keep Alec until his 8 pm formation check-in.  It was lovely to have my family all together again.

We wanted to go to a lake and rent waverunners for the afternoon, but I guess they don't believe in that there.  We could find no rentals of anything.  Not waverunners, not Jet-skis, not boats or kayaks or even a measly canoe.  It was a major bummer.

I wanted to have some fun family things to do, but Alec just wanted to hang out with us.  With us?  Really?  Delighted.  So we hung out and played games in the tent trailer while I tried to get over a gut-cramping case of heat exhaustion.  It was hot there.  Hot.  And we were in a tent trailer with no air conditioning.

We spent time at the mall, shopping together (where Angel got lost and we got the page to come find her), eating out, and going to a movie.  Alec took us on tours of the base.  We celebrated Angel's birthday.  And my boy graduated from basic training.

He shipped out the next morning at 1 am.  He's off to his next set of training.  As I was looking at these pictures, Angel came and leaned on my arm.  "I love Alec," she volunteered.  "Do you miss him, Mom?"  Yeah, I guess I do.

But at the same time, I'm so proud of my strong, handsome boy.  May the Lord continue to bless you, Buddy.

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