Thursday, October 30, 2008

Well, Elliott's an army cadet

We signed him up for the 2970 Royal Canadian Dragoons Army Cadet Corps last night. How strange. I'm torn between being delighted and absolutely horrified.

Delighted: He'll get a uniform, it's free, he'll learn some discipline, he'll learn respect, it's free, he'll do cool activities like orienteering, it's free, he'll meet new friends, get leadership training, it's free...

Horrified: That he'll like it, join the real army and get sent to war, that he'll like it and move to another city to pursue this as a career, that he'll really like it...

We only sent him to stave off his ever increasing ennui. It's not like we were fighting a lot and threatened to send him to boot camp until he could straighten up and fly right. He's a good kid that is, at 12, entering the "whatever" stage of his life. Ask him any question (I dare you) and you'll get any one of these mumbled answers: "I dunno", "whatever", "yup", "nope" or "I guess". Oh, and I can't forget the shrug. The famous, ubitquitous, pre-teen shoulder roll.

Well, a friend at work told me about military cadets. They have army, sea and air. The best part of it is that it's all free. Have I mentioned that? The uniforms, the training, the activities, all free. And thank God there's no obligation to join the actual army. It's only from ages 12-18 and really, it's just more of a cooler, regimented Scouts. I mean, they get snacktime for goodness sakes.

So all we want for him is to learn a little healthy respect for authority and a little leadership. He wasn't in any way on the fast track to any kind of youthful disaster but we thought we'd try it. I mean we don't lose anything if it doesn't work out. Because it's free. He got to choose which service he wanted (Scott was angling for air cadets but Elliott chose army) and hang out every Wednesday night with kids his age and older who (hopefully) will be good role models.

This'll end okay, right? All we really want is for him to turn his homework in on time. And not save things for the last minute. This'll work won't it?

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