05 November 2009

Life happens

I keep saying that, don't I? Lame excuse for being lazy and tongue-tied. Can you be tongue-tied if you are typing and not speaking? Hmmm....

Ongoing issues with the 9 year old and his meds. I so wish he didn't need the meds, or that I could find some way to help him not need them. So many times I feel like I fail him, by losing my patience when he needs me to be the grown-up, or by leaving him to his own devices to figure out how to cope with ADHD and anxiety. This hasn't been a good week for us...he's not only not doing his work at school, he's lying about whether it's done or not, and weaseling out of punishments. He was supposed to come back to his classroom after lunch to finish some work the other day and he just decided he'd rather go outside so he did. You can't not go to detention! I don't think it's detention per se, but the 4th grade version of it. Anyway, not a good week, and I'm not handling it very well.

I picked up a packet of stuff after school today, to make a presentation at school for Veteran's Day. I'm going to be in the second grade classroom with the 7 year old, and there's a story to read and a few activities. I read the story standing in the kitchen and promptly burst into tears. How am I going to read it to the kids? I love to go in on Veterans' Day...I always go in uniform, and I really like doing it. I think it's so important for kids to have positive images of military people and realize that they/we are just normal people, moms and dads, and not the sometimes really ugly things that the media puts out there. I just posted something on my Facebook page....an article about how 75% of America's youth (people in the prime recruiting age range) are either "too fat, too lazy, too dumb or too dishonest to get into the Army." Article's words, not mine. Obese, can't pass a test, don't come to appointments on time if at all, or have a criminal record. 75%. Horrifying.

I get that the military isn't for everyone. I get how scary it is to watch your child do something that could potentially get them killed. But ponder this: every person in uniform is someone's kid. Thank God someone's kids answer their nation's call; where would we be if no one did? I have heard, more times than I care to think about, parents say things like, "My kid will join the military over my dead body." A mom in Seth's ADHD therapy group told us (the other parents) that her son wanted to be a Marine, but she looked him in the eye and lied to him, telling him they wouldn't take him because of having ADHD. And she was PROUD of lying to him. I nearly bit my tongue in half....so, let me get this straight. It's perfectly OK for other people's kids to put on the uniform and go to war. Just not YOUR kid. I tried not to, but I had to say something. I just said that I had been in the service for 18 years, and I was still here to tell the tale. It's not a prison sentence or a death sentence.

After I calmed down, I got to thinking, why do people feel this way? What is so wrong with serving your country? If it's about the danger, we're all in danger all the time. You don't have to be a soldier carrying a gun to have a horrible accident, to get in a car crash, to get sick. You can fall down the stairs or hit your head in your own home. Yes, maybe it's morbid to think that way, or to say it out loud, but it's true.

I don't want to think that people don't value military service. But many parents don't seem to instill that spirit of service, of giving back, and so many kids don't understand what it means to hold something so dear, something that is bigger than your little corner of the world, something that cannot be possessed or touched to felt, something so important that you would go out of your way to defend it. Defend it to the death if it came down to it. I have one kid in the Army, I have been in the AF for over 18 years, the husband spent almost 28 years in uniform, and when my younger kids get there, I'll encourage them to consider military service. I'm PROUD of my kid for choosing to serve something over himself. I'm proud of him for choosing the uniform. Am I scared something will happen to him? Sure I am. I put him in God's care every single day. But does my fear trump his desire to serve honorably and nobly? Not on your life.

Military rant over. It just makes me sad that so few people have that desire to serve. Yes, I know, there are lots of ways to serve your country; wearing a uniform is but one. But still. Oh wait, I said it was over didn't I?

Hmmm, what else? H1N1 is so yesterday. We are not doing the shot. Why are people so freaked out? Tens of thousands of people die every year from the seasonal flu and you don't see this mass hysteria. It's here, in my small town. Unless you are in the high risk category, in which case my opinion most definitely changes, my impression is you get sick, have a fever and a cough for a week or so, and you get better. Several kids of friends of mine have had it, and they got over it in a few days, week or so max. One kid had a fever of 105 on Monday and was at football practice on Friday.

I got my GI Bill claim approved!! I'm going to finish school! Hallelujah! Money was really becoming an issue, as in, there wasn't enough. And now I've got help paying for tuition! A year from June, and I'll be walking. I'm the first person in my family to go to school at all, let alone graduate. There was a part of me that thought I'd never really get there. And I'm not there yet, don't want to count those chickens just yet, but it feels good to see the finish line from here.

SO thankful for my friends who keep me grounded, keep me laughing and keep me in their prayers. Peace out.

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