I missed Friday’s post because I was with my son while he competed at a gymnastics meet at West Point (where they have limited Internet access – who knew? :-)
This is my son during warm ups (the one in the white pants in the center – click on the photo to get the full effect.) Now is the time for me to puff up my feathers and tell you how proud I am of this kid.
He has been doing gymnastics since he was 5 years old. The only one of my kids who was a climber, (the other kids would climb on the monkey bars, Trevor would always be the kid on top of the monkey bars) I figured that if he was going to climb then he was going to have to learn how to fall. I enrolled him in a gymnastics class and within a few weeks, he was put on the boys’ team.
As a high school junior he spends 24 hours in the gym. Every week. It’s an incredible commitment. Because gymnastic meets can sometimes be far away, it means there is a lot of travel time which means there is a lot of time to talk. During the drive to West Point, we laughed, we told stories, he told me what he hated most about my generation, and I told him what I hated most about his. We ate Reuben sandwiches at Reins Deli in Connecticut and ended up having a great time.
Prior to leaving for the meet he had sent letters of interest to the Navy and Army gymnastics coaches. My little chick is interested in joining the military and in going to one of the academies.
As I watched him talk to the coaches (moms are supposed to stay behind the scenes) I saw my son stand tall, shake hands with the men, and look them in the eye when talking to them. What I saw was a young man getting ready to leave our nest.
I have mixed feeling about that.
Here’s what scares me about the military, sometimes, they seem like a bunch of brutes who think that might is the only way. They push, they intimidate. With a few, it seems like they like to fight just a little too much. I know not everyone behaves that way, but more than one is too many in my book.
My son is not like that. He’s intelligent and thoughtful. He’ll protect an animal that is hurt, a child that is being bullied. My son is a critical thinker. We’ve worked hard at making sure he knows right from wrong, good from bad, and ignorance and intolerance from well, simply knowing better than that.
And it is for those very reasons (and the fact that it’s nearing the time for him to start living his life the way he wants to), I am supporting my son’s decision to go into the military. Trevor is the kind of kid that would be an asset, he’d lead by example, and frown upon abuse. He’d have a lot to add.
In short the military would be lucky to have my little chick in their corner.