Behold, the former things have come to pass, and new things I declare; Before they spring forth I tell you of them. Isaiah 42:9 (NKJV)
When the cell phone rang and I saw it was youngest son’s school, I figured he was calling for permission to come home sick. Instead, it was the colonel in charge of discipline informing me that youngest son ignored a disciplinary writing assignment given when his cell phone rang in class. When he refused to write the five paragraph essay, he got a detention, and then lied about not being able to stay saying he had a doctor’s appointment. By compounding the first offense, he was now in serious trouble. They do not condone lying at a military school. Particularly to an officer. Husband and I were to report to the school office for a discussion of youngest son’s behavior. We are no strangers to such a meeting. While youngest son has been an exemplary cadet for three years, in his former life, he was a hellion. In elementary and middle school, we knew the office staff on a first name basis. In fact, in middle school, I took baked goods to all his teachers and the office staff once a month in an effort to keep him from being expelled. Since entering the military school (which was his choice by the way), he has blossomed. He loves the structure and the regime and set goals for himself that he reached his sophomore year though it takes most others until senior year to meet. He absolutely adores his ROTC instructors and would do anything for them, so hearing that he was in trouble was a real shock. We thought we had left such calls behind. Immediately, I flashbacked to middle school. My stomach knotted, and I cried when I informed husband of the situation. We went into defensive mode and planned our strategy to beg them not to kick him out of school. Whatever it takes, we thought. Just let him graduate. Counselor, tutor, bribery. They all passed through our minds. But, when we got to school, we did not have to speak. His ROTC instructor talked of what a fine young man youngest son is. How he made one mistake and though he must suffer the consequences, consideration should be taken on what a positive mark he normally makes on other students. Everyone spoke highly of him and balanced his past accomplishments with a suitable punishment. Instead of getting angry and abusive, youngest son took his reprimand like a man, then, went out and ran five miles to work off his frustration. As husband and I reflected back upon the day, we realized that we had forgotten one huge thing. Though we assumed we were back at square one, youngest son is not the boy that he once was. Old things have passed away and with them can go my fear and anxiety over his future. I reverted to my old way of thinking, but just for a little while. This time, things turned out much differently than expected, and next time, I won’t be so quick to panic.