I'm participating in the Slice of Life at Two Writing Teachers this month.
Every day, for the month of March,
I will be capturing a slice of my life.
I'm on a borrowed PC computer while my Apple is in the shop.
I can't figure out how to download the SLICE graphic on this computer.
Not sure why, but I thought parenting
would get easier
as the boys got older.
That hasn't been the case.
Both boys are incredibly gifted athletes.
Went to college for a while.
But they are both home now.
Supposedly looking for jobs.
But mostly, as far as I can tell,
sitting around doing nothing
except hanging out on the internet
taking advantage of Colorado's legal substance rules
and eating me out of house and home.
They need to do something.
Son #2 tells me he wants to join the Air Force.
My heart leaps into my throat.
I am not excited about my boys joining the military.
The world is an unstable place right now.
I think about all the stories I have read.
I worry about them being killed.
Or coming back with limbs missing.
Most of all, I worry about PTSD.
My boys already have some pretty serious scars
from being abandoned by their biological mom
and living for years in an abusive foster care situation.
I can't imagine them any more damaged
or less functional.
But they need to do something.
I ask why the Air Force.
K tells me it would be a career.
His basketball coach,
probably the most significant male in his life,
is the son of a 26-year veteran.
It was a good career for him,
K tells me.
He has clearly done some investigating.
Talked to a recruiter.
He would go to Lackland for eight weeks.
Come back here for a short break.
Then go to technical school.
The Air Force would pay for college.
And his goal, eventually,
is to join the special forces.
I try to remain calm.
Do you understand
that this is a commitment?
Once you join,
they don't let you quit.
How long would you have to stay in?
I try to breathe.
To be the mom he needs.
He doesn't know.
But tells me
he thinks it would teach him
That's definitely something
I have not been able to teach him.
The problem is, he continues
that he has an outstanding traffic ticket.
He can't enlist until he comes up with the money to pay it.
I had previously told him
That I wasn't going to pay the ticket.
I was done paying for stupid mistakes.
He has actually secured a job
working security at concert and sports venues
and can start as soon
as I loan him
three hundred dollars
for uniform clothes and shoes.
If I would pay the $179 ticket
he could go.
A lot of scenarios dance through my head.
I could loan him
the money for the clothes
chances are slim to none I would
ever see that money again
so he could work
and pay off the ticket.
That's what I said I was going to do.
If I paid it, he could move forward
with the Air Force thing.
I try again to breathe.
If he doesn't like the Air Force
I know he will say
it's my fault
that I forced him into something
he didn't want to do.
If I tell him he shouldn't do it
He will sit at my kitchen table
horsing around on the internet
and smoking and chewing tobacco
for the next _____ years,
telling me that I kept him
from doing what he wanted to do.
Parenting is the hardest job I have ever done.
And it doesn't get any easier.
In fact, I think it gets harder
Every. Single. Year.