They all look the same, these Marine recruits on the parade deck in San Diego, California. But the one just to the right of the senior Drill Instructor is my son.
He’s wanted to be a Marine since…forever. I brushed it off as fantasy when he was a little boy, and I cried it off as bravado when he was a Senior in high school. But when he turned 22 years of age, I could ignore it no longer.
We saw him graduate with the 3rd Battalion, Lima Company, on Friday. It was thrilling and scary at the same time. Conflicted feelings of pride, joy, and fear swirled around my heart in almost equal measure.
I saw him set a goal and reach it. Now I see that he needs to find his path, and it is no longer my job to protect him on it. I must let him walk it on his own.
“But if you love someone, then you want your beloved to be happy. You might feel frightened for him initially, but that feeling soon gives way to pride at seeing him do what he wants to do, and going where he’s dreamed of going.” ~Paulo Coehlo Manuscript Found in Accra