Thursday, April 21, 2011

Tuesday's Gone with the Wind, or, Sassy Graduates

After Monday bludgeoned me with gravity (how's THAT for imagery!)(and possibly improper usage of the word 'bludgeoned') I was prepared for my week to get better, or possibly worse. I'm a pragmatist people, and if I've learned ANYthing from my Recent Life Events, it's that just when you think things are going along swimmingly, you can *totally* get knocked on your ass and then kicked in the teeth, respectively.

Luckily, Tuesday decided that I'd had enough of that sort of shit. This Tuesday was going to be different. Special.

Remember how I told you that The Man was in the midst of a career change? Yes? Well he starts a new job this week. I'm very excited. I would bore you with the gory details of this particular Life Change, but basically you really *don't* know who reads your blog. True dat. While I don't mind sharing tons of personal details about my own inner child and what have you, I'm going to be politic here. Magnanimous bone, friends, hardcore.

I'll just say a few things about the recent Life Change. I'm a lot tougher than I thought. It was the hardest thing (minus Princess having colic and Casanova being hospitalized as a wee baby) that I've endured as a Grown Adult. I heartily believe in karma (call it whatever you want if 'karma' as a word is too Eastern philosophy for you) and saw irrefutable proof of it in action. I may forgive (operative word 'may) but I'll never forget.

*Insert music from The Godfather here*

Not only are the winds of change a blowin' at Casa de Sammo, what with The Man heading off in a happy new direction, but he's also getting to fly and see Sassy graduate from boot camp.

*Cue string solo*

I have no idea what sort of hellish torment they put you through at boot camp. First off, it's the Air Force, and *everyone* jokes about how much EASIER the Air Force is, as if it's Military Lite. Well lemmetellyousomething. Um, boot camp ANYwhere isn't exactly the Girl Scouts. Sassy crying on the phone during her occasional phone privilege as a drill instructor shouted "FIVE MINUTES!!!!" in the background didn't exactly sound like a tropical vacation. Gas chambers where you pull off your chem-warfare mask and cry and throw up in the midst of tear gas = NOT. FUN. Bivouac week in full armor, sleeping in tents, MREs and war games = NOT. EASY. Doing all that as a 20 year old girl? That, my friends, makes my grizzled leather heart beat with pride. That's MY kiddo. (Well, technically not MINE, but MINE all the same, bitches.)

I'm sad because I'm sitting in my dining room typing this, instead of watching her run with her squadron, or watching her take her dad around the base. HIS old base. My chest aches with the thought that I've never missed ANYthing that she's ever done or accomplished since she was 12. Financially and practically, we just couldn't swing four plane tickets, or finding enough grandparents to wrangle the Children of the Corn for four days.

The Man took his dress uniform, so I'm anxiously awaiting the pictures of the two of them together, Airman First Class and soon-to-be Master Sergeant. (He sews on his stripe this summer, for anyone riveted by such detail.)

I've already received a picture and since it's worth 1,000 words, or maybe just 100 words (if they're mine):

Airman First Class Sassy is the one pretty much center left and right in front of the camera.

And here she is again in her dress uniform, with The Man (who is doubtlessly squinting and sweating in the blistering Texas heat. Tomorrow is joint fancy uniform day:

I am proud. I am ecstatic. I am blessed. This is one of those times when all the things that went horrendously wrong don't even matter because they've rocketed to the dark side of the moon and been eclipsed by all the things that went miraculously right.

All the times I raged and cried and yelled and shook my fist impotently at the sky, certain that this girl I loved and had cared for would irrevocably screw up and Bad Things would befall her proved that she can do ANYthing. She can take the worst that people trained to dish out shit on a platter give her and not just survive, but use it to transform herself. She is a fighter, a survivor, a warrior, and soon, a nurse. This beautiful girl, this step-daughter.. but the step is just in name only.

I never wanted to replace her mother - she has a mother and that relationship is vital to anyone and everyone. I wanted to be who I am to her, a woman who loves her AND her dad, the mother to her crazy younger brother and sister - someone there for her. I may not always have accomplished all my ideals as a stepmom, I may not always have succeeded.

But she did. Despite the odds, the fear, the dubious choices. She's 20, 21 in another few weeks, training for her career and engaged to a guy who treats her like a princess.

Basic training is the beginning. Welcome to your future as a success, Airman First Class. I love you so much. I'm so, so proud.

The faith I had was shaken these last few months with everything going so hugely wrong. And I was wrong for having it shaken. It's worked out, it's all okay. It's all better than okay.

I am officially back in black.

Comments, questions, could you survive basic? (Answer: I couldn't!)