Friday, October 14, 2005

Dear CJ

Take this you stupid f***#@$%#$^@@$%%^*

I am currently a little tense. A couple of blogs down, you might have read, that my son is flying the coop. I always knew he would, of course, and I had planned for it, mentally: He would find a crappy job and get his own place, where he would barely be able to make ends meet, and I would bitch about loaning him money, but drop big pots of chili and bags of grocery and toilet paper off at his house, and nag him to clean the bathroom every once in awhile. It was going to be lovely, our next phase.

He's decided to join the military, which is exciting for him, and makes him feel great, but is putting a major kink in MY plan. He is tired of wandering, looking for structure and discipline and a career. I know this solution makes sense for him, and he's seemed more at peace with the world since he made the decision. I am proud as hell, and rattled and scared and happy for him. Mostly, I don't want to say my first goodbye, but all mothers do, yes? I've been on-deck for a year, and it's my turn at bat. [ha! I made a sport's reference!]

I got home from work tonight, and opened the doorbell to a community acquaintance, CJ. "LORI! I have to talk to you. He proceeded to tell me that Brian informed him of his decision, and to chastise me for letting him go, to BEG me to make him do something else.

WHAT, I can't make this young man do anything—no matter which other choices I'd rather he made. And between you and me, why would I want to hold back the one person I love most in the world, because of my own fears? No, I don't want him to go into the Marines; this country's a mess, and there aren't a whole hell of a lot of Pro-Soldier Moms out there right now, I'd wager. But I support him. I'm proud that he's tired of wandering, that he's pursuing something. I'm scared for boot camp...and I'm scared of things too unbearable to say.

But CJ said them. CJ came right out and rattled of statistics that my son might die. CJ has seen so many disfigured soldi—I CAN'T HEAR THIS RIGHT NOW YOU CAN'T SAY THESE THINGS TO ME. "Wait...I care for Brian, and I want you to..." I SAID I CAN'T LISTEN TO THIS RIGHT NOW, DO YOU HEAR ME? GOODBYE.

I've never acted thusly; bold and walking off. Walking off ANGRY. Anger I haven't ever known, I wanted to go back and race across the parking lot, and tackle him and pummel holy hell out of him. How DARE he? How DARE he put this kind of pressure on me? What if something DOES happen to my kid?? Will he fuckin' be there with an I told you so? Will I be sorry for not taking his advice? Why did he make me think these things?

I came into the house and slammed the door, marching in and spewing and spitting like a tasmanian she-devil. Brian, of course, looking at me and probably wondering what he'd done NOW...I recited the sidewalk conversation through clenched teeth...

And Brian laughed. That crazy CJ.

I was instantly calmed.

I can see that I'm going to have to make some decisions here, about who I'm going to be in this next phase of my life. I've been inundated with supportive and encouraging emails, and offers to talk or go out or get drinky if need be. People are going to say insensitive things, and I've got to decide who I'm going to be in the face of them.

I hope for strength and grace.

And it won't be the worst thing in the world if I walk away, if I need to. I won't apologize for it.

Let me just not hate.


  1. It's great that your son wants to get some structure and discipline into his life, and I mean no disrespect, but you understand that those things are only a byproduct of what he will really learn in the Marines, right?

  2. No, hate is never good. And I know because I hate all the time. But sometimes it's a comforting, protective shield.

    Your neighbor is a fool. And an incredible asshole.

    I'm here for you, you know. And please tell Brian that I wish him godspeed.

  3. Thanks for your repsonses.

    First, I forgot to mention that Brian did NOT join the marines; they were some discrepancies between their promises and their contract, so he walked out.

    He is looking now at the army, but has promised he will research the other branches thoroughly before he makes his decision.

    Perhaps my teeth-gnashing is premature, then.

    Larry, I do understand that structure and discipline are not the only things he's after; that he's excited about education, a career, and wages. I fear what else you may be referring to, Hatred, and killing, and all the horrible stuff? I would protect him from it forever, if I could.

    Thanks Tracy, for your well wishes, and for siding with me on the CJ issue! :-D

  4. Sweetie,

    You are doing the best that you can and that is all that is expected from you! Sometimes you may feel is an intense feeling derived from fear, anger, or a sense of injury. You are entitled to feel this..allowing it as a passing emotion. Some people mean well and others are just plain ignorant when giving all kinds of "advice" but it is not helpful. They are NOT THE MAMA! Perhaps there is a support group for Mothers whose Sons are enlisting. I bet there is even one online.

    Lori, I believe you responded appropriately with CJ. Set your boundaries and if people cross that line...walk on by.

  5. You are not a hating type of person. Can you think of one person that you really, really hate? I can't think of anyone that you have ever said that you hated. I think you have handled people very well that thought you "should" do certain things in your life. You did the right thing by walking away from CJ, he was in the wrong. How dare he think that you can control anyone's behavior or life course. Also, that you asked him to not say those things and he insisted that you hear them is rude and insensitive.

    Good for you!


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