It's a little disconcerting, this transition from being the dad of a kid to the dad of a soldier.
His last post screwed up some paperwork so he couldn't get issued some important equipment, cold-weather gear being on the list! My initial instinct was to go all grizzly dad: this is what you need to do, this is how you handle this, etc etc etc. But then I remembered it's not my fight anymore, he has a team leader and the rest of a chain of command to work out those kinds of problems.
He didn't have a meal card so he's spending too much money eating out. Why doesn't he have a meal card? Why didn't he have a sponsor to work with him like every other new soldier in every unit in the army does? Why...
Let it go, Darren. The army's been doing this a long time, your son will be OK. That's what I tell myself.
He still needs me, though. I'll be driving grandma's car up to him, and I'll have the 2 days I'm there to teach him how to drive a stick. I asked if dishes would help, and he rattled off a few things he'd like me to bring him if I have them (and of course I do)--dishes, silverware (they have what seems to be a kitchenette in the barracks), a couple of his books (I'll take a few more), his civilian clothes, an electric blanket. My mother's neighbor gave me a bag of snacks to take him. He and I are very much looking forward to seeing each other.
When we talked tonight he told me his paperwork was squared away today, and he got his meal card.