Monday, August 23, 2010

The Big (or maybe not so big) Announcement

I posted earlier in the summer about the teen's decision not to attend a four year university mainly due to cost. (You can catch up here.) Since that had been the plan all along he was at a crossroads about what to do instead & weighed his options with a lot of thought.

I never really thought about it before now but what pressure to decide your future by the time you graduate. Hell, I'm 34 years young and I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up.

The only option that was not on the table was going straight to work. Working a dead end job for minimum wage is not something that we wanted for him. Obviously.

There is a very nice community college nearby that he could have attended for two years and then transferred to a four year university to finish his bachelors degree. That would have been a much more affordable option for us so we even offered to pay community college - no loans necessary & of course he would live at home. We'll call this Plan B.

Plan C was joining the Army. I know, I know. I was vehemently opposed to this option from the start because...well you can imagine why; however I was keeping an open mind.

So the teen embarked on a fact finding mission arranging a meeting with both the college counselor and the Army recruiter. His dad went with him to the recruiters office & they talked for hours. Literally. The teen decided to take the test that tells them which job he is better suited for.

During that week we did a lot of talking weighing the pros and cons of both options. The guys told me everything the recruiter had talked to them about including the GI Bill, aka when they pay for college. They talked about the Army band and the band on each post.

Then he took the placement test. And did really well. After the test he meets with the recruiter again and is offered a job at this time. I knew that. It's standard procedure and we all agreed it wouldn't hurt to listen and then take a few days to think it over.

In the meantime I thought he was still leaning towards community college. That meant being at home and being closer to his girlfriend. The only downside was he wouldn't be able to continue to play and study music while he was there.

The next week the teen and his dad went back to the recruiters office. Again they were there for hours. When the teen finally called me he said that S was on his way back to the office and would call me later. I asked about the meeting; the teen said he was offered the job he wanted and we would talk about it later.

S finally called me that afternoon and I immediately started in with the questions. Then he dropped the bomb - the teen had enlisted.


I was under the impression it was a meeting and that we would discuss it before any decisions were made. Apparently the teen had a different view of it all and had been doing a lot of thinking on his own. After I calmed down a little S was able to tell me more details. I sighed (heavily) and said "well it's only for two years." To which S replied "He signed up for four years."

And I FUH-REAKED out. Again.*

So to summarize the teen has enlisted in the Army. For four years. And I'm dealing.

He doesn't actually leave until January so I'll have time to get used to the idea before he leaves.

And then I will FUH-REAK out. Again.

*FUH-REAK is putting it mildly. Very mildly. Very, very mildly.


Jen said...

I can't imagine. You have got to be so proud yet so scared all at the same time.

Hot Tub Lizzy said...


Heather said...

Oh, honey, I can't imagine the level of the fuh-reaking out at your house.

But, I am in awe of any 18-year old who has the courage to do what he is doing. I wouldn't survive the first week of boot camp.

Joe's brother was at a similar cross-road when he graduated, and chose the Marines. BEST thing he could've done; yes, he was deployed across the world. But he met his wife in Japan, and spent 10 years learning awesome skills and now lives in California with his schooling 100% paid for. Life is good for him. Life will be good for your teen, too.

Now listen to Lizzy...

Kristin said...

That is a tough one. HUGS. I have faith that this decision will work out just perfectly. I second the Breathe comment.

Jayme said...

wow...just breath and know that this is the path he's supposed to follow.

Living It, Loving It said...

I know this is not the choice you wanted for him but this is the choice he made for himself that he felt was in his best interest. You may not want to believe this but he is an adult and he made the best of all the choices in front of him. If someone else had come to you with the same scenario, you would have agreed that the army was the best of those choices. The choice that he made was honorable and you should be so very proud. But I do understand where you are coming from, because I know how I would feel if I were in your shoes. Hang in there and I am sure the idea will grow on you especially when you see the wonderful young man he evolves into because of being enlisted.

Mom said...

Oh geez, I'm freakin' for you. Wow! I'm glad you have until January, getting through the holidays and all.


Shelley said...

What a brave young man. That had to be a hard decision to make.
Can't he go back and tell them that his mama said NO!!!!

CaraBee said...

A year after high school, my sister was floundering. She wasn't ready for college and didn't know what to do. After a lot of soul searching, she joined the Air Force. Our mom cried for WEEKS. But four years later, she came out a more mature, focused person who went on to get her bachelors and is now working on her MBA.

The military sounds so scary, but I think it can be a very positive experience. Keep your chin up!

The Royal Family said...

ok I am crying for you, is that considered FUH REAKING out... I have grown with this TEEN for a while now since I have been a reader for a while now and I feel like he's too little, wasn't he just a band geek last week!

Breath- cause we dont' want you passing out, but feel free to FUH REAK cause it's a moms duty and I would be too. :( I kinda am and I haven't even met TEEN in person...


Christina said...

Oh My Fuh-Reaking Goodness! I can only imagine what you have been going through. What a tough road and a tough spot for you as well.
{hugs} and more {hugs}