Hell week is over at The Citadel and classes begin tomorrow. The knobs and other cadets will begin to fall into their regular routine. Along with the cadets, the parents will also find their new daily rhythm at home.
For parents of the Class of 2016 that will most likely include checking the school photos each day to try to catch a glimpse of their knob. The parents of the Class of 2013 will be finalizing their travel plans for Parent’s Weekend which is also referred to as Ring Weekend since the qualified seniors receive their rings Friday afternoon then are presented at the Ring Ceremony Friday evening. Each day until Ring Weekend the knobs may be asked by seniors to tell them how many days until they receive their rings. There is a certain comfort in knowing the annual routine at The Citadel remains basically the same over the years. The timing of an event may change from one year to the next, but the basic flow remains the same.
Now that I am an Army mom I miss that routine and general flow of events. We are learning that life as an Army family doesn’t include predictable events. It is more like hurry up and wait then learn to adjust when orders change without warning. Dates are suggestions. Once you feel fairly certain of a date, like deployment or their return, you can’t share that with anyone.
I miss the routine and predictability of the school year at The Citadel. The anxiety I felt over Hell Week doesn’t compare to the fuzzy feeling in my stomach now that we are preparing for a deployment. Even though I know my son was prepared well for his new job as an Army officer, the emotions of sending a child to a dangerous area still catches up with me. I’ve learned not to fight the emotions. It is normal to feel emotional when a loved one will go into harms way. I just try not to let it over ride all the other feelings of pride, love, and joy over the person he has become.
One way I am dealing with this uncertainty is to help new families of Citadel cadets learn the ropes of what I know can seem like a foreign culture. I am also taking the Level II comedy writing class taught by Jeff Justice. Laughing is a great way to help deal with worry and anxiety. Our graduation show is August 27 at The Punchline Comedy Club in Sandy Springs. My routine from the Level I class was well received, hopefully I’ll control the butterflies and have a decent showing next week too.