Tag Archives: Okinawa

Clocks

If you’ve spent any time at all in BeckyLand, you’ll know I have three grown kids.

The oldest, my beautiful and exceptionally talented writerdaughter (yes, one word ”” the same way a firetruck can only be one thing, so it is true for her), lives and works in Oregon. She’s my go-to editor and first reader. Pretty sure she knows everything about grammar and story construction. And I’m going to pimp her business here, because this pleases me to the depths of my soul. She’s The Essay Doctor ”” helping novelists, students and business people with anything they do involving words. (TheEssayDoc (at) aol (dot) com)

The youngest is a Master at Arms in the Navy, stationed on Guam. MAs are what the Navy calls their police force and my kiddo made his first arrest recently. All my kids are gorgeous and funny as hell and this one regales me with hilarious cop and Navy stories all the time. But they all try to keep the heart-stopping ones to a minimum, for which I’m grateful.

My middle guy is a Navy Corpsman, stationed in Okinawa. He’s the unlikeliest of medical providers, owing to his hair-trigger gag reflex as a child. If I ate a banana with a bruise, he’d gag. It’s a testament to what a truly dedicated medic he has turned into. He delivered a baby in the back of his ambulance all by himself and there was no gagging at all. Remarkable.

He was home on leave recently and bought me a present. Three presents, to be precise. I am somewhat flummoxed by simple things like cake mixes, ATMs, and gas grills. The instructions are either too simple or too complicated. Or both.

But the worst for me is time zones. I can never remember what time or day my kids are living in and they constantly tease me about it. So before he left to go back to Okinawa, he presented me with these for my office wall …

What time is it where you are? Have your kids turned into remarkable people yet?

Okinawa Time

For a smart person, I’m kinda dumb about some things.

Like, for instance, the way time changes depending on where you are.

I blame it on my dad.

He lives in Arizona which sometimes uses the same clock I do here in Colorado. But the other half of the year, they follow Star Date Time, or something. When it’s 2 pm on a Saturday at my house, apparently at his it’s 317 years in the future. And Tuesday.

At one point my daughter lived in Oregon and my son in Illinois. Not a day went by when I knew which one was waking up and which one was tying his shoes.

When my son moved from Chicago to Japan, I simply gave up.

Then my husband came to my rescue. He told me if I add three hours to whatever time it is at my house, then flip the a.m. and p.m., that’s Okinawa time.

Even though I don’t hear from my son as much as I’d like, I find it quite comforting to check the time and know it’s 3 a.m. and he’s safely tucked in. (Shut up. I do too know that! Safely. Tucked. In.) Or that it’s 10:30 a.m. and he’s busily working.

But I still haven’t caught up with my dad. I don’t know where he is on Tuesdays in the future.

Okinawa Bound

My son leaves today for Okinawa. Two years he’ll be gone.

He doesn’t know exactly what he’ll be doing but he’ll be working at the Naval Hospital there. He’s heard a rumor that because he has his EMT certificate, he may get to work in the emergency room for his regular job and when he gets assigned duty he might be driving an ambulance. That would ROCK!

Regardless of what he does, though, I know he’ll be an entirely different person when I see him next.

I got all maudlin when he left for boot camp and needed Abba to help me through.

Honestly? It might happen again. But I feel more under control now, stronger, smarter.

Why, you ask?

Boot camp, for one thing. I learned so much about the Navy while he was there. Corps School for another. I learned so much about him during the three months he was learning to be a corpsman. (I suspect he did too.) And as you know, knowledge is power.

There’s also the fact that my youngest has already sworn in on the Delayed Entry Program and will be joining the Navy too just as soon as he graduates from pesky ”˜ol high school.

So I feel very much the Navy Mom these days.

I think, too, that the unknowns are more known now and his real adventure is beginning. He gets to do a job he’s trained for and has been excited about for a long time.

It’s hard to feel sad when the baby bird flies away to do what he wants to do in an exotic, beautiful locale. As long as said baby bird remembers to email and Skype and help his mother plan her trip to Japan, that is.

Bravo Zulu, boy. Your life is really beginning. Be smart, be safe, bedazzle.

Okinawa Bound