The Steps Into Adulthood: Raising Kids To Succeed

When you have a child(ren) and you look into their eyes for the first time, you see all of your hopes and dreams for them. As they grow and become their own person, you watch them grab hold of their own hopes and dreams. And as their parent you do whatever you can to help them obtain them. For us, that even meant customizing their education and extra curricular activies to help them be completly prepared for their future. And as your child comes of age and they prepare to move forward with those dreams you can only sit back and watch, you hope you have done enough and that their determination will help them succeed. And when you realize that after all you have done, all your child has done and how much of themselves they have put into something, just isn’t going to work out, you are crushed.

Our oldest son Justin has wanted to be a Navy Seal since he was about 3 years old. He never waivered on that, he was determined to succeed. About a year ago we found out that due to an eye condition, special operations would not be an option for him, but we were assured that general inlistment was still a possibility. We continued to prepare him for Naval service, just going the route of medic instead. He started a rigorous work out routine, studied hard to graduate early so he could join at 17 1/2 and put his whole being into preparing for the Navy.

He started the process a couple of month ago and scored very well. His recruiter even told me he wished all his recruites were like Justin. They were expiditing the process trying to get him in quickly. About 3 weeks ago, while at MEPS they didn’t pass him due to his eyes. He had to return to see a specialist and it would be determined if they would waiver him. Today was that return appoitment and it pains me to say that they did not waiver him. He was disqualified today from any form of military service. I can’t begin to understand what the Lord has planned for him right now, and it is hard to see the positives, but I know one day we will.

Justin, your dad and I are so proud of you. For your willingness to serve our country. For the dedication you have shown the past 12 or so years. For the way you handled this process and the disappointments. For your hard work and scoring so well on everything. They way you have handled the past few weeks has shown your true character and I can’t be more proud. We are proud of the way you followed this through and didn’t give up when it didn’t look like it would go in your favor. We are disappointed with you, we are upset with you and we are questioning everything with you. But we know that with your drive and determination you WILL succeded. We just need to move onto your backup plan and move forward with your head held high. I am so glad that I am your mom and that I get to help you along this journey. I often wonder if I am strong enough, but I just need to look towards to you (and Paige) to realize that I need to be strong. You are a great young man and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for you.

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