Signing up for Facebook, I knew the odd unfamiliar “friend hoarder” would lob a request on the table sooner or later so I was poised to mash the ignore button, mostly to save them from themselves. Especially my kid’s friends, some of whom think I am cool, but don’t need me looking in on their worlds. And my peculiar middle aged scenario, with whom I socialize and what I find amusing is, well, none of their business.
My son noticed our byplay and casually tossed off this up-to-that-moment-unknown-to-me nugget of information: “Tim’s in Afghanistan. An Army private. Military Police I think.”
Tim is not quite 20.
It took a face and name to ram it home. Tim.
Now I am in. It is personal. I flail and gasp for air emotionally with every report of soldiers killed by IED’s or ambushes in BF-istan. Where’s the laptop? I open Facebook and exhale a torrent of pent up breath and conflicted utterances both profane and grateful when I see Tim’s presence there. His footprints, better yet his old soul dance moves, are evident in his activities there including his hysterically funny practice of taking "chick" quizzes to the uproarious bemusement of his brothers in battle. I count the days until I know Tim will be back in the arms of his family and friends, making life plans devoid of warfare, and eating chocolate covered pizza.
I send shielding energy with another Tim who shook my hand and smiled with military pride in Wal-mart at 5:00 a.m. cradling his soap and washcloths in big strong hero hands.