If You Give A Mom A Soldier . . .

2009 03 07: Cattle Prods & Kias

Entry Date: 03 07 2009   Post Date: 02 26 2012 So it’s March, 2009. The Boy is preparing to deploy to Iraq.  March 12 is D Day.  

Intense    Emotional    Uncertain Anxious     Surreal Inconceivable


The Boy is vacillating between “Bring it on – let’s do this thing” and “OMG, what the hell was I thinking – exactly why did the Army seem like a good idea?” The Mom is going out of her mind – unable/afraid to even put words to this flood of unmanageable inconceivable emotions that have washed over her.  The Mom is surprised & honored when The Boy asks her to come out to Colorado the weekend prior to D Day. In retrospect, she’s not so sure why, except that perhaps she thought they had already made the mother/son separation thing that typically keeps The Mom at arm’s length – a healthy evolution, although not easy to get to. She has often remarked that the reason the teen years are so icky is because that’s the only way that that “healthy” separation would probably happen. Also figured it might be why some wild animals just go ahead and eat their young at birth – avoid that whole crazy cycle – some days, sounded like a good idea – lol.

Two of the funniest things I can remember from this trip: 

Cattle Prods & Kia’s

Cattle Prods??? Really??? So . . . I’m preparing for this flight to Colorado. I have made some mistakes in the past regarding airline tickets, with dire consequences, so I am being extra careful to read ALL the details & fine print. I even go so far as to reread all the flight rules as again, I would be devastated if this trip were to go awry. As I’m reading the rules, I come across the funniest thing I’ve seen in a long time: On the official TSA page (Transportation Security Admin.), they actually, specifically mentioned, among all the no-no’s listed of things that cannot be taken inside the plane:


Dead serious – NO CATTLE PRODS!
  • First of all, in order for something to be specifically mentioned, it’s more than likely that someone actually attempted to take a cattle prod on an airplane. For some reason, that was hysterical. Still is, actually.
  • Upon reading this bizarre ban, all these mental images of how useful one of those tools actually could be started to fly through my head. For example, when frustratingly trying to roust The Boy up for school – a Cattle Prod would have been very handy. Soooo many other occasions for the beauty of this little tool – why didn’t I think of that earlier???
  • & the most ironic part . . . now that the idea has been planted, I no longer need a cattle prod . . . The Boy has become A Man & does the right thing, everyday. Proud . . . Crazy . . . Army Mom here.
  Did I happen to mention that Today it is 8 Months, 3 weeks, & 4 days since he’s been in Afghanistan??? & that I just sent him an email that said: “Do ya think…you can just come home already??? Seriously, enough is enough, & I’m done with this.” His response: “Lmao. Yeah I wish.” Not really sure why, but this week has been a beast, & so far, not getting better.  I have been doing very well . .. for the most part, during this deployment, especially compared to the last one. But . . . for whatever reason, I am at the end of my “doing well” phase. Very unpredictable, this Emotional Roller Coaster. Seriously, we are in contact mostly every day, so it’s not like I don’t hear from him. I know I’m blessed with the electronic technology of the day . . . so I guess my question is. . . WTH??? I “should be” fine. Right??? Logic says “yes.” Logic says, “Seriously, woman! You hear from him one way or another mostly everyday, usually several times a day via email.
  • You love the communication;
  • You are fortunate to be able to tend to things he is unable to while in Afghanistan;
  • You are so very blessed with the relationship you have with your boy. Very unusual, and extremely treasured.
  • He makes you laugh,
  • he is successful beyond your wildest imagination,
  • he is now engaged & you really love his fiancé, aka The Woman;
  • You connect via music in a very unusual/atypical way, but again, the connection is there, cherished & treasured.
  • You know you would do anything for him,
  • and he knows, too,
 So seriously, WTH???” No answers, nothing makes sense, I just happen to be a wreck right now. Go figure? Sort of went off on a tangent . . . Back to my story from 2009: So… I’m laughing re Cattle Prods, and then we move into the actual “trip”. Not sure I mentioned this, either, but on the plane going back to see The Boy, I had an Emotional Breakdown beyond anything I could ever imagine. Now, mind you, since The Boy joined the Army, I have established a connection with my little white pill Dr. (Have struggled with Depression my entire life; later found out it was Bi-Polar and only treating the depression side actually made things worse – again, who knew?) Anyway, hysteria suddenly became part of my personality – seriously…who needs this shit??? But … there it is. Probably would have just dealt with it, except for the fact that it was having a very negative affect on the fam, , daughter in particular. NOT COOL. When she gives me a card that says “I wish I could make you” and a smiley face is there, “but instead you only” and there’s a sad face with tears …… yeah, time to call in the big guns. Wish it weren’t so, but wishing doesn’t make it so. Knowing this is now part of my “New Normal,” on my way back to see The Boy, I have very carefully packed my little white pills for hysteria. The problems are these: A) Totally expected to be a wreck on the way home – NOT on the way out. B) Totally, carefully, packed all my meds to make sure they were with me. C) Unfortunately, they were packed in my purse – makes sense, right? The problem came in when my Laptop bag wouldn’t fit in the overhead container, so I had to put my purse up there. Therefore, it, AND MY MEDS were not handy, at all. D) Almost as soon as I sat down, the hysteria took over. OMG OMG OMG what the hell???? Seriously, this cannot/should not/cannot/should not/cannot/should not be happening. WTH???? E) I absolutely could not get it together enough to even try to get to my bag. And all I had was a single tissue that was immediately saturated. Of course I had tissues, in my f’ing bag, over my head, that I could not get to. F) GOD BLESS the lady across the aisle. She had a Starbucks Napkin, which in all my life could not have been more welcome. She also had the inspired/immaculately perceptive idea to get me a glass of wine. That woman deserves a place in heaven for sure. G) She tried to talk to me but I was worthless for conversation . . . even speaking at all . . . I think I did manage to utter that my boy was on his way out to Iraq . . . that’s all I could get out. She was an AMAZING ANGEL, GOD SENT FOR SURE. Can you just imagine: being on a plane, going about your business, perhaps thinking about all the things you get to./ or have to do when you arrive at your destination. For the most part, you know you’re going to have to sit next to a stranger, & you may or may not be comfortable with that fact, but a fact it is. Can you also imagine: sitting next to an hysterical stranger? Would NOT have wanted to be in this poor woman’s shoes, although I think I would have done exactly what she did for someone else. Let me just go ahead & mention at this junction, I was on a row with 3 seats, me being on the aisle, which in retrospect was a complete blessing, for all involved, I’m sure. I have NO IDEA what the 2 other people that unfortunately for them, got stuck on my row, even looked like, nor what they might possibly have thought of this bizarre situation. I’m just very thankful they didn’t …. get involved? Not pretty, not anything I would wish on anyone, nor ever again for myself. Did not know it was even possible to feel this level of hysteria. I’m crying as I write this … OMG, my boy, MY boy, was going off to war. Seriously??? This is something you read about, or you hear stories about, or you watch movies about, NOT something you experience up close & personal. NO NO NO!!!!!!!  How in the world are you supposed to reconcile all these mixed up and confused emotions??? Sooooooo very proud, so very scared, so very . . . . everything in between???? Who knows…. I’ve been trying to write this story for 3 years, but every time, the humor in the story gets derailed by the intensely overwhelming emotion of the moment, & I have to walk away. Well, I am determined to finish this story, and hopefully, at the end, it will be funny after all. Back to the story…. After my glass of wine, and the Angelic Stewardess bringing me a box of tissues, I somehow made if off the plane. I did manage, finally, to get to my little white pills, Thank God! They do make me a bit groggy, but at least I can function. Much relieved at this point, and just going to hang on for the ride. I had made arrangements ahead of time to pick up a rental car at the airport. Good Call on my part as taking care of that bit of business in that particular mental state …. not pretty! So The Boy calls me to see where I am. I tell him I’m at the car rental place, & he gets a ride there. Now, I haven’t seem him for 3 months, which in our world is a long time. Anyway, I’m taking care of paperwork when he walks in to the office. He is such a smart-ass, always & forever, & is probably what endears him to me even more – lol. He just looks at me & says, “Please tell me that red car out there is NOT ours!” This whole thing is soooo surreal . . . I tell him “Hey, it’s $25 a day, so zip it!” “But Mom, it’s a Kia. A Kia. Really????” And so, our adventure into the weekend B4 Deployment began. The funniest thing I still think about often is that The Boy is 6’4″, so in retrospect, a Kia probably was not the best choice, but as I mentioned before, my wits were really NOT about me. I laughed the entire weekend, every time we went anywhere, as he had to scooch down to even get in the car. The steering wheel, being raised as high as possible, was cutting into his thighs, and if it was a convertible, it would have been like a Fred Flinstone car. “But Mom, it’s a Kia. A Kia. Really????” rings through my head often, and I laugh. As crazy as this whole journey has been, it’s nice to have something humorous to hang on to. Oh, and being the smart-ass mom that I am, I made him stand out in the snow so I could take a picture of snow blowing horizontal. He was wearing a black sweatshirt, which was the perfect backdrop for horizontal snow to show up. And being the good sport that he is, although not without bitching – lol – he DID in fact stand out in the snow for my demented photo shoot. Good times, amidst the crazy . . . & I’m ready for him to be home already.

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