Peacemonger Mom

My son just enlisted in the military. I'm a peace activist. Why couldn't he have rebelled in some other way, like being republican?

Friday, July 28, 2006

In Which I Get All Freudian

TB has been spending the last little bit of time before he embarks on his odessey to basic training with his father. This is good, because TB has long had dad-issues. He can go for months - years even - and not see his dad, but let his dad pop back into his life, and TB is happer than a pig in cool mud. That's sad, to me, because TB wouldn't have this issue had he not been ignored by his dad for so long. Kids, they're hard to really piss off, if you're a parent. Sure, there's the ever popular, "I HATE YOU!" accompanied by the slamming of various doors. Always fun, that one. TB was never one really to do that with me. The cold shoulder? Sure. Driving a car through the wall? Yep. Punching holes in the wall? Check. But none of the typical (and, I would argue, less damaging of the above angsty behaviors). When he was young, TB's dad began the ongoing pattern which continues to this day of never reaching out to him, never making one attempt to stay in his life. TB of course, reacted by withdrawing from his father, while also striking out at those of us remaining around him.

He's reconnecting with his dad, and his dad's family, which really is where he belongs, I think. They just have always treated him like he was gum on the bottom of someone's shoe, and that makes me sad. Sad for my boy, and sad for what could have been for him and his dad. I looked at TB's Myspace profile not long ago, and it's totally pimped out with American flags, military motifs and rather than a picture of himself, he has the picture of the soldier peeing on Hussein's picture. It makes me sad. So sad. Listed as his hero? Various characters - none of them real...except for his father.

So now he's joined up, for something to bond with his dad over, I believe. He's willing to put himself into danger, just so that he can have something to talk with his dad about? The pull of parental love and approval is so strong, and this is something I really can't understand very well, because I have always had parental love and complete approval...well, not complete approval, maybe, but I at least knew at the time that what I was doing was stupid. What TB is doing is stupid beyond stupid - it is life threatening.

But I had a thought this morning that soothed me a bit (along with the fact that I actually got a good night's sleep for a change). *If* TB actually makes it through basic training, and *if* he gets sent overseas, then he will have done something his father has not, and he will have lived the pinnacle of the soldierly life. Not to say that that is what I want for him, but it is to say that I think it is what he is striving for - the possibility of impressing his father.

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