Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Defeat snatched from the jaws of victory...again

To say the journey has been rough is an UNDERSTATEMENT. My son (child #1) signed his contract with the Army five months ago after a brief (from a geological perspective, but an eternity from a parent's) period of horrifying teenage behavior. He was supposed to ship out July 2. Since nothing can go smoothly with this kid, he called me yesterday at 4:10 and said "You have to take me to the recruiter NOW...I'm shipping out tomorrow!" So much for the smooth transition. We were able to see him at the hotel that evening to say our goodbyes (minus the evil one...child #2).

So, I'm feeling pretty good about getting him to the Army in one piece, and I didn't have to spend the week worrying he'd get into an accident, break his leg, or screw things up in some other way. We had talked about bubble wrapping him, locking him in his room and various other methods to keep him whole until the hand off on July 1.

My husband, in a truly understated and calm-inducing manner, calls me this morning and says "Are you sitting down?" "Please stay calm."  Of course, all my worst fears flood into my mind thanks to this brilliant approach: some kid is in the hospital, an animal is dead, he gunned down someone at work. Finally he says: "#1 is coming home." So more horrible thoughts: failed drug test, got into fight, gunned someone down. But no...PAPERWORK SNAFU. Yes, a miscoding on #1's paperwork is keeping him from fulfilling my dream of getting rid of all my children.

All paperwork needs to be filled out again and resubmitted, at which time #1 will re-sign his contract and then again, we will wait for a new ship-out date. This could be right away, this could be months away. So, in the blink of an eye I go from proudly putting the finishing touches on the speech I plan to give when I accept sainthood for selflessly (uh-huh) giving my only son to protect the country and our freedom to being just another mom loathing the worthless existence of an adult child lounging around half naked, playing video games and piling up dirty dishes and laundry. Thanks Uncle Sam.

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