Coming Up For Air While Little Bird Flies

Has it really been two weeks since I’ve posted?  There was a time (even during tax season) where I managed to post something almost every day.  Either my time management skill have dropped off considerably, or I just don’t have as much to say.  It certainly isn’t that I’ve lost interest.

I’ve been working 6 days a week, which doesn’t leave much time for other things.  But trust me, other things still happen.

One of the big things that happened, quite unexpectedly, was that Oldest Son has just landed a great job.  Today, at 6am, he heads off to Alabama to start his first assignment.  Just like that.

He’s quite the adventurer.  He has a genius IQ, but pretty much just can’t do school.  He had a full scholarship to a great private college, but after the first semester slipped back into his middle school/high school patterns of not doing his school work.

He used to meet people online, and would drive or hop onto planes to meet them in person.  He loves hanging out in big cities and exploring new restaurants and seeing new sights.  He has made friends all over the world.

He joined the military.  While many people struggle through the rigors of basic training, he embraced the challenges.  He grew stronger and more focused.  I sensed a calmness and sense of purpose I hadn’t noticed in him before.  He’d often talked about joining the military when he was younger, but we were skeptical.  He was not the most athletic person, either in interest or ability.  Yet he shined.

His year in Iraq was scarier for us than it was for him.  He’s much stronger than we give him credit for.  He made friends with Iraqi soldiers, enjoyed the local foods, and witnessed first hand that most of the people there were gracious and appreciative.  He has pictures of the Iraqi kids playing just like our kids do.  He gave me another perspective on issues I don’t fully understand.

The military can be frustrating, though.  The bureaucracy drives you nuts.  Getting the things that were promised when enlisting turns out to be a paper chase.  Promises aren’t kept.  When one observant soul learned of Oldest Son’s aptitude, he wanted to send him to the Defense Language Institute.  After getting our hopes up, that didn’t pan out.  After volunteering to deploy to Haiti to help after the earthquake, he was disappointed to learn that they cut back on the troops to be sent.  But…had he been there, he would not have been around to accept this new job.

And being in the military helped him land this job.  He met someone who worked with him in Iraq and knew first-hand how much knowledge Oldest Son has, even without his college degree.  It provided him the security clearances required to get the job.  And although this job may not be for everyone, since it will send him to places all around this great big country, it is a dream job for Mr. Adventurer.  He doesn’t even mind hanging out in airports!

Right now, the house is empty and quiet.  But it’s not lonely.  Big Daddy and I have done our job and we’re happy to see the kids move on to bigger and better things.  It’s the way things are supposed to be.

14 Responses to “Coming Up For Air While Little Bird Flies”

  1. 1 lynette March 21, 2010 at 9:39 am

    i am so happy for your son, les! i am sure you are very proud of him and excited for him as he embarks on a new adventure — i am betting he is excited too 🙂

    you sure sound like one helluva mom, with a few lucky kids.

    • 2 les March 21, 2010 at 10:34 am

      Thanks, Lynette. I made him promise to text or e-mail us with every little detail. Thank God for technology. He may be far away, but I still want to know what’s going on!

  2. 3 Consuella Banana Hammock March 21, 2010 at 10:06 am

    wow little birds flying. i can’t even imagine that day approaching. i do love how supportive you are though. you seem to recognize what your kids are good at and encourage them in that direction. college was so pushed on me, not that i didn’t want to go but my parents would have freaked if i had made any other choice. i’m glad you see what is truly important. i want to be the same way with my kids.

    i’m glad you came out from under your work rock. we miss not hearing from you more!

    • 4 les March 21, 2010 at 10:43 am

      Oh, Consuella. I missed you guys. I had to come up for air.

      I have to admit…I wanted my kids to all go the standard route…college, good job, etc. But they each have very different personalities. Like I usually do, I encouraged (bribed, pushed, coerced) toward that direction, but I’ve learned you can’t force an unwilling participant. It’s best to lay out all the options, trust that you’ve raised them well enough to make good decisions for themselves, and then just accept the plan they’ve made for their own lives. It should all work out in the end.

  3. 5 Cyndi March 21, 2010 at 2:20 pm

    Yay! I’ve missed you!

    Wow, what an amazing opportunity. I’m so happy for your son. This post makes me a little sad though, I don’t want my little guys moving far away, although I realize it will possibly happen.

    • 6 les March 21, 2010 at 2:48 pm

      But Cyndi, maybe they’ll move near the beach! And have a big house with a guest room! You gotta look at the possibilities!

  4. 7 Cyndi March 21, 2010 at 3:04 pm

    True!! OMG how amazing would that be. And maybe they’ll be super rich and build me a house on the beach next door, and we’ll be BFFs….a girl can dream. 🙂

  5. 9 robinaltman March 21, 2010 at 8:16 pm

    That’s just wonderful! Congrats! I can only dream of being in that position one day! I’m still visualizing a life of PS3 in the basement, ordering take-out Chinese, and explaining why every job isn’t quite good enough. Shudder.

    • 10 les March 21, 2010 at 8:35 pm

      Yes, Robin, I know of what you speak. We “joked” about having 40-year-old sons living here with us, eating all our food.

  6. 11 Paula March 22, 2010 at 12:12 am

    You sound so proud of your son. I can almost see the beaming smile when you talk about him. I love to hear the inspirational stories of people landing dream jobs even in this economy. I was so sad when my oldest son moved away. I’ve since recovered. lol I can only imagine right now what a quiet house could sound like. You and big daddy need to make a few plans for all the extra space in the house.

    • 12 les March 22, 2010 at 12:20 am

      I’m going to enjoy these couple months of relative peace and quiet, Paula. College lets out in May–then we’ll back to messy and noisy. It’s like the change of seasons. It’s kind of nice to have the variety.

  7. 13 Tammy March 22, 2010 at 11:21 pm

    I love this story. My greatest desire in raising my son is that he won’t be afraid to fly coup. I want him to pack himself up and go on every adventure he can dream up!

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