Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Is it too much to ask?

All I want is for ^this young man, Brian, to grow up, find the love of his life, have a child (or four), enjoy his career, grow older, get fat, grow even older, and have sore knees and aching hips. Grow even older (if such a thing is possible) and have a receding hairline and grandchildren of his own.

Complication: that young man (oh, who am I kidding? He's a BOY!) wants to be in the military, like his Daddy, his Grandpa, and his uncle before him. With that, I have no huge problem. However, that young man wants to be in the Army, and wants to be a sniper, he wants to be on the front lines. With that I have ginormous problems. (Every mother on the planet, shout with me, "NO!")

Brian is already 14 years old. In three short years, he could enlist. Seventeen. A child. I remember being 17. I was, not to put too fine a point on it, stupid. And so very young.

Tonight, I again told Brian that he should really consider the career path of a librarian. (He laughed. It's an old joke now.) Or an engineer. (Still, a laugh.) Or, okay, a civil engineer. (A chuckle and, "Oh, Mom!") Or a public affairs officer, still in the war zone, but not on the front lines. ("What's the difference?" he scoffed.)

He told me, in his words with a heartfelt sense of being "called," that he wants to make a difference. He wants to stop the terrorists. He wants to stop militant extremism in its tracks. This isn't just a macho or filial urge. He wants to win their hearts and minds.

I told him I wanted him to find the love of his life and have a child before he went to a "war zone." That gave him pause. I hope that he was thinking that these were things he wanted, too.

"Well, how do you think the military will feel about that?" he asked. (As if I could care, as if it matters to me.)

"Well," I hedged, "if you go to military college, you won't graduate until you're, oh, 21, and then you could take one tour here..." And I was thinking, if he falls in love, he won't want to go. If he has a child, he won't ever leave.

I'm buying time.


  1. Just my sick sense of humour, but maybe he wants a trigger to be his main squeeze!

    Uncle (aka Grandpa) Andrew.

  2. One could even say he's trigger-happy.


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