Twenty years ago last weekend I was sitting in Plant City Florida eating strawberry shortcake with my mother and my Aunt Margie and Uncle Bill who were visiting mother from Pennsylvania. Among other things, we talked about the excitement of my pregnancy and that it would only be a few weeks before I'd get to see my bundle of joy for the first time.
Last weekend, I sat in the bleachers at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, with my husband by my side as we waited expectantly for my son - that unnamed bundle of joy I held so close to my heart twenty years earlier, and waited so expectantly for - to march across the parade field as he graduated from basic training.
The joy I felt last weekend was no more or no less intense than what I felt twenty years ago. Just different. Tears still clouded this expectant mother's eyes as I waited for my son to march past me - just as they did twenty years ago as I waited for him to arrive. This time, though, there was pride in my heart. Pride in knowing that my unnamed bundle of joy of twenty years ago has grown into a fine young man. A young man who has made his mother proud and whom I have no doubt will make his country proud.