Thursday, May 14, 2009

Surprise!

Yesterday the Unknown Caller phoned. I am always just a little bit afraid of answering, but since M's # shows up that way, and chances to talk to him are few and far between, I am always afraid not to answer as well. You never know what you're going to get...always a surprise, but not always a good surprise. Well, this time it was...in the voice of Cadet A at West Point. That in and of itself is surprise enough. But even moreso...!

M was granted grad leave! Several months ago, when he realized accepting the opportunity-of-a-lifetime, too-good-to-turn-down, all-expenses-paid trip to Israel would mean little to no leave at home this summer, he applied for grad leave. Having heard nothing since, we reasonably concluded that it was denied and went to Plan B: four days between Graduation and Israel. So, yesterday, at the very last minute, he got the good word: Grad leave approved! This means not only that he is authorized to miss marching in the Graduation Day parade, but he gets to come home for almost two whole weeks. This, as the currently hot saying goes, is huge, calling for a huge change of plans all around, but we're up for it.

All M had to do, after his final TEE ("final" in civilian) was finished this morning, was get his typhoid shot for Israel, pack up and move out of his room, sell his books back to the bookstore, change his airline ticket, and arrange a ride to the train. If he seriously put himself in turbo, he could have made the 5 o'clock plane tonight, but that allowed only for everything to go smoothly, and things don't generally happen that perfectly in our world. In any case, this way he gets to go to a show on Broadway with his friends tonight and then sleep a few hours at the Soldiers', Sailors', Coast Guard & Airmen's Club, Inc for only $25, unless, of course he checks out early. He plans on catching the 3 a.m. bus to the airport for his 7:30-ish flight, so I'm pretty sure that qualifies. That puts the cost down to $10 for the night, and if he notifies them ahead of time, well then it goes down to $5. One more cadet perk, and you just can't beat that!

All I had to do around here is cram into one day what I had planned to do in the next almost-two weeks. Dust, vac, tidy M's room, put fresh sheets on the bed, and the same in the guest room for D and the Princess and the Gingerbread Cookie, who will be here for a week in honor of M. M and a couple of the little kidlets have birthdays in this time frame, so there is that to plan for, not to mention, speaking of HUGE, daily rations for a big boy who is tired of dining hall food. And speaking of even more HUGE....I have been re-arranging some furniture the last couple of days, and one room in particular is a disaster, but oh, well.

If we have learned anything from this year, we have learned that in order to get along with West Point, you have to be two things:

  • Extremely structured. Things are planned to the nanosecond more than a year ahead of time, and you better be ready to hurry up and wait; and
  • Extremely flexible. It's all about the last minute, and you better be ready to jump at every eleventh hour opportunity.
The last I heard from M was a text message: "We're on the train." M is on his way home! Me, I am on my way to bed. Gotta be ready for that drive to the airport and back tomorrow.

Welcome home, M!

1 comment:

grammaw marina said...

It's an exciting, memorable time for your family!