4.2.2010 | Friday

The Army vs. Family

category: Army Life, Family Stuff, Kid Tales, School Days
tag(s): , ,

reading time: 3 minutes

Where does the time go?
Donovan decided on a college last night.  He is a future University at Albany – SUNY alumni!  That is the same college I went to as a freshman and 1 semester as a sophmore before I went into the Army.  He also got accepted into the Honors College, which sounds like something I would have LOVED to do when I went there.  Of course, it would have required that I actually have the mad crazy grades and ambition that the boy has!  Honestly, Albany wasn’t his first choice, but I truly think it is a better fit for him.  There is a huge variety of student organizations and things to get involved with, especially for someone like him that is so cause-oriented.  The school has so much to offer him that I just hope that he goes with an open mind and accepts it all.

Part of me is so jealous!  He is so much more ambitious and driven than I was at his age and he won’t squander his opportunites the way I did.  One of the only regrets I have out of life was that I didn’t get my degree.  I know that leaving college for the Army was the right choice for me, and I don’t regret for one second my time in the Army or the things I accomplished that I never otherwise would have been able to do.  But I totally squandered the opportunities I had while I was in the Army to finish.  I made a huge mistake in letting life get in the way and now I am almost 40 and feeling like a loser.  I am so insanely proud of him for being so focused and driven.

But there is a down side.  He is my first bird to leave my nest and that is killing me.  I can’t imagine my days without him around.  I am both looking forward to and dreading taking him to college that first day.  It doesn’t seem possible that it was 22 years ago that my parents and grandparents drove me to the same campus and I was the freshman.  How does the time fly so fast that my first born is ready to start his life on his own?  I am such an overly sentimental chick that the mere thought is enough to make me want to cry, from pure joy and pride and love, to sadness at my baby moving on, to regret that I squandered my own opportunities.

I also realized that when it comes time to take him to college, I am going to be alone.  It is one of those times that being an Army family truly sucks.  Corey is going to be in BNCOC when the time comes, so I am going to have to have my “first bird flies the coop” nervous breakdown all by myself.  He isn’t going to be there for the big day, to do all those “parenty” things that you do when your kid goes off on their own for the first time.  I just pray for Donovan’s sake that I don’t make a crybaby ass of myself!!

I love the Army and everything it gives our family, but there are definate downs, too.  Most of the time, I look at it as just a part of life, but sometimes the missed things are the things that memories are made from.  And sometimes I just want my rock around to keep me standing strong when I want to fall.  There is an oft-used saying in the Army, “The Army is the wife and I am just the mistress! Sometimes that bitch gets all the attention!”  Truer words have never been spoken!

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