Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Ground Control to Major Tom - - Or Anyone Else That Will Listen To Me

"HOUSTON - We have a problem!"

I think it's more like "Mr. President, I paid DAMN good money for that tank and I want my baby boy inside of it!"

The United States Army has decided that my son should be on the ground - boots to the dirt, carrying a gun and guarding things, sneaking up on things, and generally being a foot soldier. Well, that works find and dandy for a movie; but I sort of liked the idea of my son sitting inside of his safer-than-on-the-ground tank, and having tunnel vision. (Actually the tunnel vision thing is pretty funny because we tell Reuben all the time that he's inside the proverbial box most of the time, and he's not looking at the bigger picture.) The tunnel vision was what I signed up for in the first place. Not the ground thing. Sorry Mr. President, I understand that you need what you need, but really - - can't we train the moms to do this? Think about it! If the war was fought on both sides by moms and grandmothers it would SOOOO be over by now. We'd sit for tea. We'd discuss the issues and say we're sorry. We'd invite them over for brunch, and ask the other side to politely leave our kids alone, and we'd politely leave their kids alone.

I used to think my son was easily described by comparing him to a six-month old St. Bernard puppy. Giant in some ways, gangly in others, easily tripped up by his size 12 feet and often flopping down in the middle of a board game to say hello to everyone. Now, after the United States Army has kept him locked up in their barracks for a couple of years - - he's become more like a middle aged Great Dane. Where is my son's baby fat? He doesn't even slobber anymore! I'm telling you - - these military people have done the impossible: They have an actual photo of my son without a smile on his face...I thought it may be CGI! MY SON REUBEN...no smile? Please! Forgetaboutit, but it's true.

The fact that Baby Boy will be walking around in a country that hasn't been completely safe lately is scary enough - add guns to the mix, hostile opinions, orders, and a lack of MRE (Meals Ready to Eat) and you're looking at a situation I'd rather not think about. He calls me now to tell me he's back home again - - "home" being a relative term at this point. I told him to call me every time he goes out on a dangerous mission, to update me in the middle of it, and to call when he's back "home" again. He laughed. I asked him to go up to his commanding officer, I don't care what the rank, and look him or her squarely in the eyes (Wait - - it has to be a man, a woman wouldn't send men this cute into battle) and tell him that his mother refuses to let him partake in anything dangerous. He laughed. I told him to take 3 tampons with him incase he got shot - - he can shove them up into the wound at least. He asked why only 3. My answer: "Son, if you get shot 4 times I'm thinking you can't concentrate on finding the tampons." He laughed.

At least I have my sense of humor - - and he knows his mommy loves him. BUT, and I mean this - - get you ass back inside that damn tank boy!

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