Last week Ryan had a big accomplishment in his Army career thus far. He graduated from Air Assault school - a very grueling and exhausting 10 day exercise designed to weed out the weak and make the strong stronger. Well, he did it and we are so proud. Of course, we had to make sure we were at his graduation - and it was one crazy time.
I kept Jake and Ainsley (well, Reid too) out of school that day so we could all be there for his graduation. The plan had been to get a sitter for Reid and Jane Dare but, as usual, I left things til the last minute and it just didn't work out. Blessedly the ceremony was held outside so I figured at least we wouldn't be in a confined space or a room that echoes. I get to the graduation 25 minutes early and find about a million cards already there so I had to park way
far away. Which meant I had to schlep 4 kids through the makeshift parking lot, down a road, and across a rather large field. I had one kid on my shoulders, two in the jogging stroller and Jake following (very slowly) behind. Thankfully this is the Army we are talking about so I nice soldier pitched in and helped me push the stroller to the graduation site.
We got there just in time to see the grads take off for the tower where the do a demonstration of their fast roping skills which was very cool. What wasn't cool was that my kids were awed by it for about 3 seconds and then these jaded little hooligans decided to start having fun on the metal bleachers. Up and down and in and out crawling around like little monkeys. After the demo the graduates come back and stand in formation for a prayer, the national anthem and a short speech. This was about the time Reid decided he wanted to stand at the top of the bleachers and every time I put my hand up to keep him from falling he yelled "DOH" (that is how he says no) at me. So at this point I'm sweating bullets trying to keep some order when I spy a number of maroon berets in the back of the crowd. Maroon berets meant one thing - Ryan's coworkers were back there. So I then desperately began attempting to make eye contact but to no avail. However my kids shenanigans must've been loud enough because shortly two of my favorite maroon berets stepped up behind me like angels sent from heaven. Jay took Jane Dare to free up my hands and Derek took charge of Ainsley. I was saved! After that the ceremony flew by and we were able to enjoy Ryan having his pin put on by the cadre and, of course, the singing of the Army song. Thank the Lord for those guys or I don't know that I would have survived.