Fun With Keyword Analysis
Wordless Wednesday: Goodnight (and good job!) Sun

He's Army Strong, Mom's Still in Training

As a child, I remember reading about the Declaration of Independence in history class and quietly smiling to myself, thinking...THIS!...this is why my family is here.

"Mom, I want to enlist into the military."

But I cannot think of too many words, other than those my 15 year-old son has been saying, since he was 4 years-old, that can simultaneously fill my heart with joy AND feel as if someone or something is trying to dig its way out of my chest, one spoonful at at a time.

"I spoke with an Army recruiter during Career Day."

And yet, in the last few months, I have heard very little else.

"I told them I want to be an Army Engineer."

My heart is about ready to burst both with pride and dread, all over my face.

Glen and Uncle Bud
Glen at his Uncle Bud's deployment ceremony, 2004.

Here's the thing, encouraging my 4 year-old that...YES!...Army dudes are indeed awesome, is easy -- especially, since he idolizes his grandfather (my dad immigrated to the U.S. in 1956) and his favorite super hero happens to be my brother, Uncle Bud the Army dude.

"And I told them that I plan on joining ROTC, next year."

Keeping every deep, dark and terribly awful fear imagineable from creeping out of my heart and slithering its way up onto my face, not so much.

"I'd like to visit West Point, can we go?"

So, my husband and I took a road trip, with just our son.

Glen and Garth NHRN at West Point
Most gorgeous views of the Hudson River Valley, EVUH!

The weather was absolutely gorgeous, perfect fall day with temperatures in the 60's (my favorite!), but it was also a bittersweet day; for Garth (not his real name) and me, I mean.


Hudson River Valley
I have lots of pictures of trees, they comfort me.

This post has been in my head for a very long time. It's still very hard to put the words together, because this is not about politics (I'm not that smart) and I'm not looking for a philosophical debate on history or religion (I'm not that clever, or awake, probably).


Day out with our future soldier, he's been wanting to visit West Point since he was chin height.

A photo posted by Liz Thompson (@thisfullhouse) on Oct 10, 2014 at 10:26am PDT

I'm just a mom, who loves her child(ren) with every ounce of her being, who's trying...really, really raise my kids to be...well...MUCH smarter, than me.

Battle Monument at West Point
Battle Monument, West Point

Now that they're grown (mostly) and can pretty much think for themselves (see previous parenthesis), I can tell you EXACTLY what the hardest part of raising teenagers is: trying NOT to feel as if you're losing control of...well...every thing.

Glen and Me at West Point
We are smiling, AM SO!

It's hard sometimes, you know? Pretending to be fearless. Especially for someone who wears her heart on her sleeve...[raises hand]...not without leaving a permanent dent on my face, I mean.

I'm not going to lie, I'm proud AND scared as hell, you guys.

BUT! I'm going to continue to try really, really hard to stay strong; even though I know, that my kids know, I'm about a backstroke away from drowning in my own feelings.

"Thanks for bringing me, this was a good day."

Because, in my head, I can't help but see him as that same little towheaded 4 year-old...running around...always with the running...wearing his favorite Power Rangers sneakers, pretending to be a super his Uncle Bud.

Fried Oreos
He's an evil child, this one!

Upside of raising teens: when they grow independent enough to cook for themselves and start making you fried Oreos and stuff...yo!

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