Thursday, January 1, 2009

A Call From Evan

Our new year has started with a call from Evan. He earned twenty minutes of phone time. Not much at all. You know what he did? He used a good portion of it to call his Wing Man's family to tell them how their son is doing and make sure they have the mailing address so they can write. The Wing Man didn't earn phone privileges. Using some of his precious time, our boy took care of him.

Another reason to be proud of Evan. There will be more, I know. Today, he's emotional; Basic is hard. I really don't want to know how hard. I get emotional listening to him trying to sound brave when he's not feeling brave. He stresses about so much, mostly afraid of failing. Tomorrow will be his first clothing inspection, "And, I'm tweeking about it," he shared. Boy-chic is a perfectionist; now he's living in an environment that demands perfection but constantly points out where he failed to meet the measure.

He's afraid of being 'recycled,' and working hard to avoid it. Feeling unsure of himself and his abilities. High anxiety about everything. Right now, he's obsessed with his weaknesses and his attempts that don't measure up. Like yesterday, when he was three sit-ups short in P.E. Insignificant to us, but in Evan's current world, those three small sit-ups have now morphed into a possible ticket to being recycled.

He thinks his Flight is weak; there wasn't time to get into details. Evan was selected, because of his previous trumpet experience, for the Band Flight. Not that he wanted it. But, he raised his hand when the question was asked, "Does anyone here have musical instrument experience?" And, that's how you end up being 'volunteered' when you least expect it. I'm pretty sure Evan can't see the rightness of his being selected for this Flight. It doesn't fit his warrior nature.

I reminded him that we are all exactly in the right place at the right time. There are no mistakes. So long as he focuses on that while toiling away, he'll be able to take a breath after they tell him he failed, fell short, didn't measure up. He'll be able to tuck his head and plow on. Keeping on. Michael and I joked, reminding him that if his Old Man made it through Basic, we absolutely know that he'll get through, too. That made him laugh- a bit.

I can't know how hard this is, but I have a vivid imagination. Still, thousands of young men and women do this. Most are groomed to success through the process. I have no doubt that Evan will be one of the successful ones. It's just so difficult to find the words to help him believe it now.

He's missing home and us. He's missing Melissa. He's missing Rory & Fiona. And, he's missing the feeling of being sure of himself. Just missing things and being uncertain. It's hard to feel, but in a way, it's a good thing to have the opportunity to realize that we can miss what we never really thought too much about and took for granted. Missing something is a sign of caring about it. Now he knows that he cares.

It looks like Michael has re-enlisted in the Air Force and I've joined it, too. Even if it's from a distance. So, for all of us Frocks, the only way to walk to success is- through it. I'll be sending him all the emotional support I can. I hope you'll join me. I have absolute faith that our combined energies will reach him and help. He can do this and the Air Force will truly be better because he's one of their band of brothers.

Namaste' Till Next Time,

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