This past week son graduated from Marine boot camp. Hubby, youngest and I drove down for the ceremony and family day. MIL and FIL also drove down to meet us. We picked youngest up from school on Tuesday and made it to Baltimore. We headed out bright and early and arrived at the hotel a few minutes before my in-laws. We had stopped at the visitor's center on the way in to town to use the facilities and were given some great directions and advice. The center is housed in a historic home and is oh so charming. We asked about a great place to eat and we were directed to The Brick. The service was great, the live music was great and the food - out of this world.
I had been taking milky oat straw tincture to calm my nerves. We had no idea if bio would show up. She had threatened to - I mean she promised son she would. Just before arrival in town youngest said she didn't think she was coming because oldest said they had no money. I guess getting a job and saving money was out of the question. She only had 15 months to save up for it. Still, MIL and I waited Thursday morning in anticipation. I was prepared mentally and had all my sisters back home sending good medicine my way.
We were on the Island early to watch the motivational run. We sat in the bleachers watching the family day films and then we had our son for liberty for the afternoon. I had brought a full batch of cookies for him. Bio didn't show. In the films it had a short clip interviewing parents. They said they were surprised when their son/daughter signed up for the Marines. They were nervous, shocked, angry, etc. etc. Hubby and I couldn't relate. Son has been looking at the military his entire life and the Marine's for the last six years. They told us our Marine would be different - polite, fit, mature, etc. Well, our Marine was different. He was smiling from ear to ear. He looked like himself only in uniform. He wouldn't eat the cookies while we were walking (not allowed) so we stopped and he inhaled a good pile of them.
After liberty was over we had dinner on base with some of his drill instructors. When they asked about a change in him I replied, "he smiles more." They looked at each other and at me. He never smiled for us was their reply. No, I'm sure he didn't. He is way to serious for that. We explained that he has been prepping for this for years. The Marine's only reinforced who he was already.
Friday we arrived early again for the colors ceremony. The Marine Band played and the flag was raised. What an impressive ceremony. The band is fantastic (and that is a huge understatement). Then it was off to the graduation. Pictures and heading home.
Oh, the other thing different - he let me take pictures both days - lots of pictures. When we got in the car to head home he stated before we even left the Island that he was pissed his mom hadn't come. He said she only wrote twice and that he stopped writing to her because he received no reply. He had a pile of cards and letters from us and family and friends. He then proceeded to eat his way home.
I've stocked up on all his favorite foods. I've been cooking up a storm. Cheddar biscuits and sausage gravy for breakfast, enchilada casserole for supper, plus banana bread and a green tomato cake. The cake was a new recipe (thanks Rose) that I didn't think I could try until I found green tomatoes at the farmer's market. It was a big hit. Check the link for the recipe. The only change I made was using pumpkin pie spice for the cinnamon and nutmeg. Today we're starting with baked oatmeal. The rest of the week includes bacon cheese burgers and baked potato salad, ribs and cole slaw, beef stroganoff, chili, corn chowder, more cookies and a double chocolate mocha trifle.