Right after I posed the rice flour incident, the reaction hit me very hard. I was out of commission for about 24 hours. I guess I spoke too soon about it being mild. Oops.
My ex-daughter-in-law took my son’s three munchkins and moved to Australia. I told him not to allow this, or he’d regret it. He hates confrontation, so he gave in to her and her mother’s pressure and let them move. Yes, he now regrets it. I love it when they say “I should’ve listened to you.” but then they refuse to take the next bit of advice, and come back saying, “I should have listened to you.” This happens with this one a lot. He is a 26-year-old Marine.
He can handle a gun like nobody’s business, defend his country, survive a tour in Iraq, survive a humanitarian tour (not very safe) in Pakistan, deal with recruits as he is currently a recruiter in our state, yet he can’t stand up for his own rights. Because of this and some not-so-nice things his C.O. did, my son is now in Parris Island awaiting a hearing for “conduct unbecoming”.
He decided not to stand up to his commanding officer (CO) and not standing up to him is part of the cause. He also trusted his CO and his trust was misplaced. I can’t blame him for that at all. You should be able to trust your CO. The other issue was a stupid (no other word for it) decision he made concerning his potential recruits (poolees). He broke a law. He gave underage recruits beer. That one is completely on him. I don’t know if he was alone in this or if it was an office thing. I do know his CO was immediately relieved of duty.
What I find odd is that this boy is the one I clashed with constantly while he was growing up, because he is so freaking stubborn. He saw everything in black and white. There was right and wrong. No middle ground. You either followed the rules or you didn’t. If I tried to bend a rule to allow the kids a bit of leniency, he would pitch a fit. Seriously.
I don’t know if Iraq changed him, though he really didn’t see much battle because he was in Communications, or if his divorce and losing the kids hit him harder than he is showing, but now his decision-making seems to be a bit off. He is one of those quiet types who never talks about things, but it’s obvious he is stressed and depressed. The Marines even sent him to a counselor last year for it.
As a parent, sometimes I want to just grab my adult childrens’ shoulders, shake them and yell, “WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?!” But I don’t, because I remember the many dumb choices I made when I was younger. It’s a part of growing up. I find it so difficult though when they do things that could potentially ruin their lives. I keep reminding myself: my job is to give advice, pray for wisdom and let them make their own choices: right or wrong and – above all else – love them no matter what. The loving part is easy. The “letting them make their own choices” is not so easy.
Sometimes I wish for the days when they had to obey me, and I could steer them in the direction of better choices. But those days can’t last forever. At some point, we as parents have to let go. We have to watch, peeking through our fingers, as they race towards a choice we know won’t end well. Sometimes I wonder if God does that with us; watching us through His fingers, thinking “No, no NO!” as we race down a poorly chosen path.
So, as I write this, I sit here waiting for my phone to ring or a text alert to sound. I’m waiting to find out if my son gets a short stint in the brig (prison) or if he comes home first. Will he lose so much of his pay that he can’t pay his child support? What kind of discharge will he get? So many worries and questions, but I have to breathe deep and remind myself that he put himself where he is. All I can do is love him and pray he learns from his mistakes.
He flew to SC to hear the formal charges against him. They were read to him over a conference call from a guy in NC. Why didn’t they do that here? Why waste the taxpayer’s dollars to fly him to another state and back just to hear it over the phone? Total waste of money.
He will come back on Friday, then fly back out there on March 1st for an actual trial. Oy. Our government dollars at work. The original incident happened over a year ago. This is ridiculous. I don’t like it when people waste time on things, don’t communicate fully and waste tax money.