From One Green to Another
If you’re from Michigan you are acutely aware of the tragic events that occurred on Monday, February 13th. Heck, even if you’re not, you likely know about the campus shooting that left three young people dead and five others seriously wounded. Unless you know me personally or follow my blog, you also know that my son started his freshmen year there this past fall. Well, what you don’t know, because I haven’t shared with a lot of people outside of immediate family, is that he decided to leave MSU after the first semester of the academic year. So the good news is that he was not on campus the evening of the fateful shooting, but, as a parent of a former MSU graduate and having many friends with students on campus I was no less glued to the T.V. in absolute terror of what was happening. I’m glad to say all of my friends’ students were safe, but my heart truly aches for families of those students who died that night.
Why have I been silent on my son’s sudden departure from MSU? Well, obviously, no parent is joyous when their child decides to leave college. But for me, in particular, it’s a MSU thing. No, I did not attend the school. However, it was the school I had every intention of attending when I graduated in 1993 when my parents shattered my dreams when they declared that I would not have their financial support if I went “away” to the school that was only one hour away. I sure wish I was more defiant at that time in my life because not attending my first school of choice has been one of my few life’s regret.
Nevertheless, when my daughter attended the school twenty years later I developed pride from being a MSU mom. And I was looking forward to being a MSU mom times 2. But that was my dream, not his. So I had to put on my big girl pants and not shame him or try to guilt him to do what I wanted. That wouldn’t have made me any different from my parents.
What I wanted most– okay, second to my son continuing his education at MSU, was for him to have a plan for this phase in his life. One of the mottos I’ve been preaching to him since I became aware of it is: Proper Preparation Prevent Poor Performance. So, I reiterated that to him.
“You’ve got to have a plan, son.”
And his plan became enlisting in the military.
Another shocker for me. Another time where I had to put on my big girl pants. I reminded myself, This is his life to live.
Once I was sure that he was sure of his decision to go to the United States Air Force, I got on board and went full throttle into “support” role when you transition from telling your kids what to do to supporting them in the decisions they make.
On this day, his last day in our home before his embarkment on BMT (Basic Military Training), I’m holding back my tears that will surely refuse to be held back on the actual day that he leaves. After scouring the Internet about what to expect of BMT (because I’m the one going, right?), I actually feel better about his decision. Over the next two months he will be strengthened physically, mentally, and emotionally, and on the road to true manhood.
What more can a mother ask for?