I was watching a show about a young man named Welles who went back again and again up the stairs of the Tower and put himself in harm’s way to help and save as many people as he could while the Tower burned. He ended up dying when the Tower fell.
It immediately brought thoughts of my own son who is loving every minute of his co-op semester at Boston Medical Center where he is working as a security guard. It didn’t take long before he proved his skills on the safe side after subduing a psychiatric patient who attempted to kick him in the head. He couldn’t wait to tell me about his adventures.
Now they’ve moved him to the “dark side,” where it’s much more violent. He is beside himself with joy over this new position and all the experience he’s getting with a multitude of dangerous situations that happen every day. One half of me is proud as hell; the other half is frightened. Every text message and every phone call causes my heart to stop for fear he’s been hurt or worse. Even more worrisome is what he’s NOT telling me.
A year from now I will have to go to an ceremony where I will have to pin bars on his shoulder and he will become an officer in the U.S. Army and he will simultaneously graduate from college. He will immediately report for duty and serve four years serving our country as payment for the full paid scholarship. Where he will be deployed and what job he will have is still unknown. He has said he wants to be in a tank while I want him in a desk job. It will be four years of hell worrying till he gets out.
But once he gets out, he has said he wants to join FBI, or ATF and again putting himself in dangerous situations.
As a mom, I’ve spent years making sure he was safe… guardrails on his toddler bed, holding his hand so he wouldn’t get lost and tucking him into bed every night and watching over him. I don’t know what possesses him to want to live on the edge. Did I let him watch the wrong TV shows? Should I have banned Call of Duty from the house? Regardless, he is choosing a path where he will always be in the line of fire it seems. I wonder what chip is in his head and his heart, like Welles, that makes him put others first and want to be in harm’s way.
But l have to wait let go of his hand.