27 years ago today I gave birth to a warrior. My hero is spending his birthday getting ready for a possible evacuation. We chuckled on the phone today for nearly 2 hours discussing birthday hurricanes, the complications and bliss of a good relationship with the opposite sex, and what constitutes a good vacation. But then the conversation turned serious as we discussed the personal losses that come along with war. We ended our conversation discussing the beauty and simplicity of a minimalist lifestyle. Something that deployment offers. You can’t take much with you, and when you get there, you are sharing a very small space with other people. A hard toilet becomes a very nice thing.
When you move a lot, you get very good at living with less. He and I moved a lot when he was in his teens. We got good at it, but we never really accepted it as part of the journey that would mold us into the human beings that we later became. We found it inconvenient and messy and full of grief and loss every time we endured it.
Easily detaching from our “things” became easier every time we made a move as we downsized our life so that we could afford an out of state college without having to work 3 jobs. Two jobs each felt like quite enough for the both of us. Six years ago, as I was faced with making a decision to accept a travel position that paid extremely well or work for a non-profit, HE made the decision to join the military, which allowed us both an opportunity to exhale from the financial responsibilities of college. It caused us to take another deep breath of another sort. This decision launched him into adulthood at lightening speed and me into a guilt trip of epic proportions. His decision to leave college and go into the military still haunts me. I second guessed every decision I had ever made and wondered that if perhaps I had just settled for an easy life of a married lady who lunches when he was younger, if he would be the man he is right now that I am so proud of. Would he have failed to launch? Would he be working in the financial industry floating from job to job eventually landing on my couch due to the current economy? The answer is probably no. The journey would have been different, but he would still be the leader he is right now, the stage would just be more sane for him. I couldn’t be prouder of him than I am right now, nor more supportive of his decision to carry on in his current role, as dangerous as that it is. He will have many, many more healthy, happy birthdays…………I pray for that each night.
“What we think about, we become”. Earl Nightingale, the strangest secret
Peace love and little donuts and tonight, red velvet cake!
Military zen mom