My son is a teenage soldier.
I mean that.
My 19 year old son is a soldier and he has been for almost 9 months. In the seconds after he was born, the first thought that entered my head was darn, in 18 years he is going to be drafted.
I had been so sure that he was going to be a girl. Back when I was pregnant, (you know in the middle ages), there were no routine pregnancy scans. I had one at 6 months when I was so fat that they thought it was twins, but my baby was shy and the sonographer told me she couldn't tell the baby's sex. I took that to be a sign that it was going to be a girl.
If I am honest, I was a bit crushed when I gave birth and they told me it was a boy. All that was going through my head was that I knew we were moving to Israel and Israel still has mandatory draft. My baby was going to be a soldier in 18 years.
It ended up being a little closer to 19 years. Now my first born is a soldier.
So how does your mind adjust to the fact that your teen is now a gun toting soldier, out there protecting you and your country during the night while you sleep soundly?
Well for one, you don't sleep quite as soundly.
Living in Israel, kids grow up faster. Maybe it is the suicide bombings, the threat of war, or maybe just the fact that at the age of 18 or 19 you get a rifle thrust into your hands. It makes you grow up fast.
But they are still teens.
And they still need their parents. They need their mothers to teach them that their gun cleaning brush is not their boot cleaning brush.
(Yes that was what my son used the first time he polished his combat boots. He didn't know what it was for. Good thing his mother was around.)
They need their mother to iron their uniforms and do their smelly laundry. They need to hear their parents' voices at least a few times a week.
They need their mother to help them keep from getting arrested because they left their beret at the base and only realized the next morning on the way back to the base that it wasn't on them. Yup-that also happened to my son. I had to walk over to one of the outside guards, explain the situation and point out that there was military police at the gate and that my son would be arrested for coming back without his beret. Thankfully mother's charm worked and the guy radioed the guard at the exit gate to let my son in. Mother to the rescue.
So although my son is 19 and a soldier, he is still a teen and still needs and loves his mother and father. Maybe he even appreciates us just a little but more now.
I know how much we appreciate and miss him.
Susie from www.newdaynewlesson.com