Tonight's the night. The night M signed his next ten years over to Uncle Sam. It's a done deal.
I am a little surprised to find myself feeling almost bereft, like I did just before he took off on his Adventure of a Lifetime. It's not as though there was any doubt about what he would do. Even at the worst moments he never seriously considered quitting. It's not even that I wanted him to drop out. But the chance was always there. True, the chance was slim to none, but now something fundamental has changed: Until yesterday he was there of his own free will; tonight that is no longer true.
So just like that, we are on. For the next ten years. Hard to believe to say the least, but look how fast the first two years went. ZIP!!! There goes another year. There goes another milestone.
It occurs to me that this is somewhat like getting married, or buying a house. As long as you are engaged, or renting, you are free to walk away at any time, no strings attached. But once you get married, or buy the house, you are...dare I say...trapped.
The Dad told me that M called tonight, his last call as a free man, while I was out. Without my phone. WAAAAAAAH!!! I never go anywhere without my phone. Except for tonight, of course. I tried calling him back, but forget about that, he had left for formation. I did get to talk to him later though, after The Deed was well and truly done.
M does not feel any different. But I do. I feel like I'm on some sort of collision course with Destiny, and I can't even get out of the way. I want to cry.
And as always, I feel immensely proud to be the mom of this honorable young man, now truly a soldier, member of the USMA Class of 2012..."For more than ourselves." GO, TEAM!!!