The fairy floss and me.

Getting you right in the feels ……
unless you’re a mutant.
Then your on your own.
Had a weekend away from our little town to our nations capital Canberra.
It was nice, it was different, it was unusual. ( to coin a phrase. )
I knew it would be different and unusual and it was nice, very pretty.
That is just a little info on Canberra for anyone else who sometimes feels like they are living their life like a 1950’s housewife because I, like you had never been.
I know admitting this may cause a gasp of disbelief. The reasons for this are involved, complicated and disturbing and I can’t tell you why here ….
This may or may not be exaggerated.
I must at least appear interesting so I just haven’t been ! OK !
We were accompanying our youngest son to the open / information day at ADFA. The Australian Defence Force Academy for the ill informed , I was one of these ill informed types until this became a very real part of our lives. He has been accepted into the RAAF and will start this new life at the beginning of 2015.
Our youngest, my baby boy , the fruit of my womb will be in the military.
I am so proud. I feel only others that have been in similar situations and know the work and dedication just to ” get through ” and be accepted will know I’m not just tooting our collective horn or boasting if you will. Anyone would be proud and rightly so.
I am in awe of him. He is a good guy. brilliant is my son.
I can hear my other children clicking their tongues at this bit and planning their vengeance against the youngest, The Golden child, The favourite. Not true !!They know this. They are ( quietly) proud as well. This is just one of his moments in the story of our lives. and anyway you know I always quote the famous quote, ” When your parents say they don’t have a favourite child, it just means, you’re not it. ”
The intense emotion I felt when we arrived at the Academy took me somewhat by surprise.
I have made jokes ( not about war !!) that when he leaves next year I will stand on our verandah in my apron waving a white hankie my lip quivering a little as the pianola plays” Kiss me goodnight Sargent Major.” I think you have to have The Sullivan’s firmly embedded in your memory and remember Grace Sullivan tearfully waving John ( or Tom or Kitty ?? ) off to war to feel the emotion of this, and be over 40. Which is probably why my kids just stare at me when I chuckle at my own hilarity.
Of course I will miss him hugely. There will be tears. You will probably be in tears yourself when I relay it to you in the future. Beware.
But this time we were only visiting and from the moment we descended the hallowed stairs ( A nice piece of dramatics ) I felt the tears stinging and the lump like when you are watching a sad movie with other people and you can’t start sobbing uncontrollably so you hold it in and it really hurts your throat.
I looked around, people seemed quite happy.Jolly even. It was a beautiful day and everyone seemed in fine spirits. There were a lot of displays and people parachuting out of planes. Huge Helicopters to have a seat in and The Military band. All the different leisure activity groups manned their own tents offering smiles and greetings and happily showing you just what your son or daughter could join next year. All with different dishes to share as well. Nachos, hotdogs sausage sanga’s. The dramatic arts club had Fairy Floss, Bless.
It was all very festive.
I truly felt I should just stand next to the dramatic arts tent eating their fairy floss cause I was feeling just that, A tad dramatic. We did indeed though find ourselves standing near The Commandant. No I did not push anyone out of the way to find myself standing there but in conversation with me trying to look nonchalant and not near tears and my husband actually conversing normally the Commandant said he is always so proud at this time nearing the end of the graduates first year to think that mostly these people were still in school last year and look at them now. Was that a glint in his eye as well? Was the commandant feeling it as well? Who knows?
But, that in a nutshell is what I think had my heart string apullin’ so much. All these guys, ( meaning guys and girls, of course) where just young, eager, upstanding, hard-working, generous, nervous, proud souls. That have not an easy path for their careers. The emotion wasn’t just about my son. I felt an immense pride in these people, the graduates and the officers. And that will get the feels going in anyone.
I never saw the military being part of our lives in such a personal way. I have to admit I didn’t know a thing about it before our boy started this journey. I still know about half a percent of what there is to know.
You think when you’re a parent, your job is to guide your kids, let them learn from you, and give them experience in life. But, when you have these wondrous beings you just don’t know what experience they will bring into your life. What you can learn from them. Things you never would have considered or imagined on your own. It can be a wonderful surprise.
For me, this, is one of them.

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