I have big news. Just as I was settling into my Monday morning routine at work, McCain – my oldest son – called. He said, “I think you are going to want to come home.” My first thought was the horses were out. Crazy how the mind works. But no, they were fine. McCain was on the delayed enlistment program with the US Marines. He was scheduled to go to boot camp in February of 2014. Well, they had an opening and asked if he was interested and he took it. He was leaving in 24 hours.
I don’t think there is a mother in the world who wouldn’t have reservations about their son or daughter joining the service. He had talked about it occasionally during high school and then this past summer got interested enough to visit with a recruiter. John and I met with him, too, and while I would like him to continue to do lawn service the rest of his life, I also know this could be good for him in so many ways. And since he wasn’t scheduled to go until February, I thought maybe we would have this war deal all wrapped up and he would get to visit some place nice like France. Wishful thinking.
I would have loved to have a big going away party for him, but there was no time. My brother and his significant other, a couple nieces and a nephew and McCain’s Nana joined all of us on Monday night for a dinner at the hotel where McCain was staying. There were other recruits there, but he was the only one going to the Marines. I was glad we had the time together but what do you say to each other? Life as he knows it and we know it is now forever changed.
The next day, we joined him at the processing center where he was sworn in. They asked us not to go to the airport. He was whisked off to San Diego. We got one phone call to tell us he arrived safely. It’s all started now. I’m told he won’t be the same kid when I see him again. That worries me. I kind of liked that kid. I’m still numb. And maybe a bit in denial. But very proud.
Where are you going, my little one, little one
Where are you going, my baby, my own?
Turn around and you're two, turn around and you're four
Turn around and you're a young man going out of my door.