I got a text from Andy today, asking me to mail his new bank card and his motorcycle tags. I am always hesitant to bug him, because he’s not much of a talker, but he told me a little about what he is doing in South Carolina.
Special Forces selection isn’t just about physical training. It also has to do with your capacity for decision making and ingenuity, a couple traits that I thought the Marine Corps bred out of you in basic training. Andy said that out of 120 Marines who arrived last week for training, probably only 70-80 would finish. Then comes the selection process, where officers make more or less a subjective call based on performance. Andy fully intends to pass with flying colors, and I fully expect that he will.
I have never seen a child more intense and dedicated to whatever it is he’s chosen to do. When he was 4, he made me take the training wheels off his bike. It took us all day, with me saying continuously and uselessly, “Don’t you want to take a little rest and try again later?” By the end of the day, my little 4-year-old was toodling up and down the sidewalk on two wheels and I was more than ready for a little rest. It was the same a year later, when my well-meaning father made Andy a pair of stilts. Stilts. Really, Dad?
But of course, Andy would not stop until he had mastered the stilts. I do wish that he had shown the same determination in high school, but I guess he’s just not the sit-down-at-a-desk-and-do-your-work kind of kid. He is loving the selection process so far, and even though I am a tad bit nervous, I am happy that he is happy and content, shooting for his goal of Special Ops.
I’ll just keep texting him, praying hard for him, and packing up boxes of stuff to mail to him, even though it costs me an arm and a leg in postage. His birthday is in a week, then Valentine’s Day in two weeks, so I am putting together a box of stuff that he probably won’t even receive until he gets back to San Diego in March…but that’s okay.
I can bug him with a text on both of those days, and I know he’ll chat with me for a bit. He’s been keeping me on my toes for 21 years now, and I wouldn’t want it any other way.