Trey turned 19 on Friday and we've basically been celebrating all weekend. Birthdays are a big thing, we celebrate them well. And since we are all celebrating Trey's birthday knowing he might not be home for his next birthday (although, since he got infantry, he'll probably be in California so it's not like he'll be suffering!), we are spoiling him a little more. So we've eaten out with friends, seen two movies and went bowling.
Here is some advice for you young men out there...just, learn from this wisdom I'm about the throw down for you...
If you are about to go into the military, maybe not...just maybe...take your mother and your sister to see a war movie! In this case, American Sniper. (Which by the way, wasn't at all what I expected and was a very good move.) Because-and this may surprise you-your mother and your sister might get a little emotional after the movie.
I say "might" but let's say "will"
We will definitely get emotional. And we will be in the theatre sobbing. And in the bathroom, sobbing.
Have you guys ever been in a public restroom crying? Yea...me either...except for that one time. After watching American Sniper.
So today. Today I was in a public bathroom, hugging my daughter and we were crying.
And some girl who is not that much older than Embree walks in, takes one look at us and asks "Did you guys see American Sniper?" I nod yes and then tell her "It's my son's birthday. He ships out for Parris Island in May" And this young girl lets out a big ol' "Awwww" and stretches out her arms and gives Bree and I a hug. So crying and group hugs with random strangers in public bathrooms. It's a thing.
You know, its no small thing to invite yourself into someone else's pain. To not just give an awkward smile as you sort of creep by them to the stall as far away as possible. To invite yourself in and give what little you can. In this case, a hug.
It was a big deal to me that she was willing. I love the fact we can accomplish so much in such small ways. And I think that in this environment, with so much going on, that we could make significant paths to reconciliation if we were willing to invite ourselves in the pain of others and do the little things we can to tell people "you are not alone" or "How can I help?" We don't have to understand the pain to be with someone through the pain. Little acts of kindness just make it so much easier to walk through it.