And no it's not about Biggests baby. She's taking her Sweet Time and it's Time for this post.
My Littlest was sitting in her 1st grade classroom on 911. Her generation grew up with a boogie man as real as it gets. Her generation has grown up with a war. Commonplace in their lives as eating breakfast.
Is this when it began?
I think most young people seldom give it any thought. But my very serious, very thoughtful little girl has always been aware. And always standing up for justice. Always felt the pull to protect. And serve. As she made her way through elementary school she wanted to be things like a firefighter or a soldier. I didn't think too much about it. You see, this generation, as my parents generation, grew up with those games on the playground. Being heroes. Saving the world. They played at being soldiers. I remember her coming home angry. The head of the games, a little boy she went all through school with, told her girls couldn't do the fighting. She had to be the medic. She was furious.
Was this when it began?
Well. They both graduated in June. He has 14 lbs. to lose and a medical waiver to get through, and my baby girl is going before he does : ) But she doesn't gloat. She's pulling for him because she understands. By 5th grade she was more straightforward about law and order than ever. She also carried a sort of sadness that was deep and rooted in the vastness of the world. And she wanted was to make it better.
I sent her to a school for the arts as a creative writer in middle school. She needed the outlet for the heavy feelings she carried. At eleven she was carrying the world.
Was that when it began?
She never planned to be a writer and as she progressed to the high school for the arts, she thought about becoming a psychologist. Once again, to save, to protect, to serve. In tenth grade she began writing a story for one of her classes. It was about a couple who were both serving in a war. She was researching her topic carefully for authenticity. I remember her once again coming to me angry.
"The Army doesn't allow women to serve in the 'Special Forces!' " That's just stupid!
Was this when it began?
After a time I realized she was still researching long after the story was set aside. And then I received the letter from the Marine Corps. informing me that my 15 year old was inquiring about joining and that they weren't allowed to actively speak with her about being recruited until after she turned 17 or in January of her Junior year. She came to me and said she wanted to leave the school for the arts. It wasn't getting her to the future she wanted. She was heart broken to leave but at the same time her focus had shifted. She had a new plan.
And that is definitely when it began but at the same time it merely came full circle.
The Marine Corps. core values are: Honor, Courage and Commitment.
Their Motto: Semper Fidelis-Always Faithful.
She has had these traits since the day she was born.
In July of 2012 when she was 16 she couldn't take it anymore and begged me to take her to the Recruiting office. Technically they weren't supposed to talk to her but she only had a few weeks till she turned 17 and I was with her, so they did interview her. I wrote about that day HERE.
We told her we wouldn't sign the papers and she would have to wait till she turned 18 but after her 17th birthday in September 2012 she began to plague us. We made her wait six months until January of this year, just to be sure, but her commitment never wavered and we signed. After talking to her recruiter multiple times we decided that the Delayed Entry Program would be a plus, as she would have physical training and other benefits to better prepare her for boot camp. She made it through MEPS the Military Entrance Processing Station and initially swore in on January 31. Her original ship date was August of this year but has been delayed twice while they waited for an opening in her preferred job area. That has been extremely draining and stressful for all of us. Not knowing what was going to happen or when. And now? Now in 9 days the Marine Corps will pick up my baby girl and take her to a hotel. We will lose all contact at that moment. The next morning she will have a second trip to MEPS for a double check and then be put on a bus for Parris Island SC. When she arrives she will be allowed one scripted phone call to let us know she arrived safely. Unlike other military branches, which train for 8 weeks, the MC trains for 13 grueling weeks in which we will have no interaction with her other than hand written letters. I am going to miss her more than I can express and am so proud I can't express it either. As I mom I worry, but not as you might expect. I'm not worried about her career choice. I'm worried about her heart and her hopes and I want her dreams to come true. And...
There is a reason they are called "THE FEW."
I have no doubt she has everything it takes to make it, as do the recruiters and senior officers for her recruiting station. From her test scores and physical abilities she is considered a valuable recruit.
But things happen. Accidents, illness, myriad possibilities. With no glitches she will excel and achieve this goal she has nurtured for so very long. So I'm asking you this. Regardless of how you may feel about the choice she has made, if you pray please send up a prayer. If you cross your fingers cross them all tight, and if you wish, Wish Upon A Star : ) because she is one, and help this amazing young woman achieve her dream: To Earn the title of United States Marine.
For My Starlight: Because I do understand and I know, It's Time. Time To Begin.
Our trip was wonderful and exactly what I needed. It was eight days of excellent, except for the part where the SeaMonkey got a big honking speeding ticket in North Carolina. But as Doris Day sang so wisely, Que Sera Sera...I'll write about it later.
When we came back we had to turn around almost immediately and travel for business. It was 4 days of, seriously, what else can happen?
My Aunt passed away. My mothers sister. I haven't spoken to her in several years. She has been suffering from dementia. It's been even more years since I've seen her. She lived all the way across the country. But I'll miss her presence in the world all the same. She took care of me a lot when I was little. She was like a second mama. Maybe I'll write about it later.
Middlest has a new job and has moved out on her own to start over again. And that's a good thing. And that's all I have to write about it.
Littlest got her call for her job opening and will be shipping out to Marine Corps. Recruit Training on December 2cd. I certainly will write about it later....
and on Thursday Biggest saw her doctor, who told her to get ready because she didn't see her lasting more than a few days. She has some early signs right now and we are on baby watch this weekend. Cross your fingers because she's (in Her words) "over it" and ready to get this done: ) So hopefully, I will be writing about that very soon!
UPDATE: 11/18 No baby yet but I did get this text from Biggest last night:
OPERATION D-----C-----AKA No More Negotiations.
Mission: Extract the highly elusive D---C--- from hiding. She has been spotted in caves as far as Pakistan but is currently believed to be living as an intruder inside a civilian. Take warning, she is considered to be highly erratic and bullheaded and is a master of martial arts, torture and mind manipulation. Take any means necessary to bring her down, but we want her alive. Best of luck.
(And That's why I love my kids)
You write whole posts about Mid and Littlest all the time but you never say anything about me.
What? Yes I do, BUT just for Princess PITA...
Biggest is 37 weeks pregnant. She's ALL baby. We suggested she paint her stomach orange and draw a face on it for Halloween... she didn't like that idea. She looks beautiful. She isn't due till November 22cd but the doctor told her the baby was big and really could come at any time so she's convinced she's in labor about twice a week. Though I point out to her on a regular basis that she will KNOW a real contraction when she feels one, she still calls me every few days to ask about things she's feeling. She hasn't read many books to prepare her for having a baby because she says she has ME for that, and a lot of stuff in the books about things that go wrong scare her and make her worry. Despite the fact that I haven't been pregnant in 18 years, I try to remember as well as I can. She calls at least once a week to worry that there will be something wrong with the baby. I tell her, if there is, you will deal with it. But I'm sure everything is fine. Even though her parents torture her, because Biggest was standing by the sink and DecentGuy threw a chunk of ice in it and the loud noise seemed to startle the baby and make her jump around. So they did it again.....
She has picked out a most adorable and lovely name and I'm relieved it isn't 'Tree' or 'Axe' or 'Bobette Marley.' In keeping with her lifestyle she has decorated the nursery with a 'Forest Friends' theme from Target.
This is the Target ad, not the real room.
The real room is small and cozy and yellow and it's the sweetest. DecentGuy worked hard painting and putting in new flooring and bought wooden letters to spell her name and painted them to put up over her crib. He's an excited future Daddy and we have (another) spoiled little girl in our future. They are as ready as they can possibly be.
Biggest is already thinking about good schools and what toys and tv shows are appropriate and savings accounts. She originally thought about starting an account for college but then decided to start one for the Great-She's Finally Big Enough to Enjoy It- trip to Disney World when the baby's old enough-after all she was conceived there- Then they will start a college savings.
She is busily going through her nesting stage, which is really something because she's already OCD about everything being in it's place. She's re-folded baby clothes a thousand times and everything looks perfect. She is going to be a terrific Mom because she already has an active Worry Button that came pre-installed and if the child so much as bats an eye she'll be standing over her watching like a hawk to figure out why and what she should do about it. She's going to be Fine. She's going to be a Fine Mama. And she's Finally going to drive me completely crazy ; )
So My Sunshine, I am very proud of you and excited too! And there will be plenty more posts in the future about you as a Mama. You are going to be Amazing : ) You know the music we played for you when you were little to help you sleep. You have your own copy now. Just Remember...
Except For The Part About Me
As for me, I'm going in for some restoration. I'll be heading to the highlands to sit on my rock and listen to the creek and see some colors besides green. Even though it's my favorite color, the eye and the soul need a change from time to time and it's been several years since I've been able to go in the fall. Plus I'll get to wear my sweaters and boots! I need it desperately right now. Even more so because I have a series of work projects as soon as I get back.
I told Biggest to quit trying to have that baby early and cross her legs, because if she goes into labor while I'm gone I'll never speak to her again. The new definition of Never being, as soon as I can rush back and get ahold of my granddaughter. But hopefully the little Bug will keep cooking a little longer and come when she's supposed to, just in time for Thanksgiving. And I will be thankful indeed!