Saturday, March 2, 2013

My Soldier Boy

I've been thinking over this post for a couple of weeks now, and I haven't been sure where to start.

I love my country.  I am patriotic to the point of tears when Old Glory goes by at the beginning of a summer parade.  I choke up a bit when the Cub Scouts recite the Pledge of Allegiance.  I love watching my older boys post "the colors of the United States of America."  I've been wanting, for a while now, to build a flagpole in my front yard so we could fly the flag.

Now, I'm supporting my country in a way I never really considered.  Alec has joined the armed forces, as a member of the Army National Guard.

As a citizen, I'm as proud as can be.  As a mother... I dunno.  I'm torn.  What if he deploys?  What if he is in a dangerous situation?  What if he is injured?  What if he...?  This is my boy, for crying out loud!  My firstborn, the baby who made me a mother.  I see his dimple and see my little strawberry blond tyke, the squirt who looked so much like his daddy that people called him "scale model."

But when he puts on his camouflaged uniform and khaki boots, and tips his cap forward just so over his short-cropped hair, I see the man he is becoming. His lean body is so different from the pudge-monster we used to play ball with in the living room.  He's got his father's build, his father's lips, his father's quickness to learn, his father's determination.

He has regular drills with the Guard, and will be shipping out to basic training not long from now.  His other training will be extensive, so it will be December before he can go on his LDS mission.  It will be interesting to sit back and watch how he learns and grows over the next few months.

As a Mom, that's what we do: give them wings, help them learn how to use them, then watch them fly away. Happy flights, my son.  I'm ever so proud of you.

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