I think it was Woody Allen who once said, "If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans."
Remember that little post about how relieved I was that Bobby's college process was over?
Well, while I was stocking him up with thermals and Smartwool for those cold UMaine nights, the US Coast Guard Academy was deciding to offer Bobby a spot off their wait-list for their Class of 2019.
After a few days of a 17 year old boy's version of soul searching, Bobby decided that the opportunity to attend the Academy was just too great to pass up.
Off with the UMaine tees, on with the Coast Guard...
Could my smile look any more strained in that photo?
Don't get me wrong. I couldn't be more proud of his decision, he's worked hard for this opportunity and he'll experience things that most of us only dream about...and most importantly, Bobby's happy with his choice so we're behind him 100%....
But the reaction of many has been, "You must be thrilled, it's free tuition!"
In 39 days, while his buddies are kicking off their summer, Bobby will be reporting for duty. During the next 7 weeks of "Swab Summer," he will be allowed no contact with family or friends...and he'll be pushed to his breaking point by his Cadres, because that's the whole point, right? And the Cadres yell, a lot....like more than me, even when I have PMS.
When all that fun is over, Bobby will embark on a 200 week college program which will not only include a full academic course load, but also rigorous physical training, leadership development, and a competitive swim team schedule.
He won't be coming home for weekend visits or summer vacations. His breaks will be limited to a few hours of "Liberty" on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. He will not be allowed to wear civilian clothes, and his days will begin promptly at 5:30 am. He certainly won't be hitting any keggers, that's for damn sure.
Bobby's made a brave choice to pass on a typical college experience and challenge himself in ways I probably wouldn't have chosen at his age. And honestly, I needed a few days to wrap my head around that.
So, we have 39 more days until he legally becomes an emancipated minor, property of the United States Coast Guard Academy.
I've loosened up my ground rules for these final days: 1) Don't Hurt Yourself 2) Don't Break the Law
I'm pushing him out the door to hang out with friends, grab a burger, see a movie, act like a dork, tell fart jokes....soak up his senior milestones, team cookouts, prom, graduation.
39 days, and counting....