Reflection on A

AEDITOR’S NOTE: Welcome to the A to Z Challenge, an exercise in self-flagellation we bloggers inflict upon ourselves to teach us discipline as writers and to build audience. During the month of April, I’ll be posting 26 times, once for every letter in the alphabet. Looking on the bright side, we can each be thankful this is an English language exercise and not Khmer, the language of Cambodia, which sets the world record with a 74-character alphabet! After some misgivings, I’ve decided to proceed with my initial idea of blogging about the special people in my life whose names begin with the appropriate letter. There will be difficulties, like having more than one special person whose names begin with the same letter, forcing me to choose. And then there are those letters — O, Q and X among them — where no name springs readily to mind. What will I do then? We’ll have to wait and see!

Aaron in 1987 at Walt Disney World.
Aaron at Walt Disney World in 1987, perhaps wondering just what the future held in store.

A is for Aaron

He was last to arrive, but we gave him a name that puts him at the front of the line, with an extra ‘a’ for emphasis.

Regular readers of my blog know  this isn’t the first time I’ve written about the baby in the family, my only son, Aaron. While he was growing up, I would worry that he hadn’t yet learned to tie his shoes, or later, that he seemed to have no direction in life. I thought for a time that I was destined to have a 40-year-old son living in my basement, still playing video games without a care in the world.

I needn’t have worried. All I had to do was look at the signs and learn to interpret them.

If I'd learned to read the signs, I'd have known my little Sailor Boy would become a much bigger Sailor Boy.
If I’d learned to read the signs, I’d have known my little Sailor Boy would become a much bigger Sailor Boy.
With a submarine in the background, I hold Aaron in 1985 at Seawolf Park in Galveston, Texas, with his older sisters along on the trip.
Prophetic? With a submarine in the background, I hold Aaron in 1985 at Seawolf Park in Galveston, Texas. His older sisters were along on the trip.
As a U.S. Navy submariner, my son wears the silver dolphins on his chest.
As a U.S. Navy submariner, my son wears the silver dolphins on his chest.

Aaron joined the U.S. Navy, eventually becoming a petty officer aboard the USS Nevada, an Ohio-class submarine in the Pacific Fleet. When people hear about my sailor son, they say they could never deal with the life of a submariner, and I’ll quip that those years playing video games in my basement perfectly prepared Aaron for the role, working inside a steel tube for months at a time, never seeing the light of day while cruising silently beneath the waters of the Pacific.

Nowadays, I never worry much about Aaron’s safety during those cruises. I know it’s an inherently dangerous job, but I guess I have faith in the technology that keeps him and his shipmates from harm. I worry more about his state of mind, being away from his wife and daughter for so long.

With his stint in the Navy drawing to a close, I can’t help wondering what he’ll do next. I might comb through old photographs again, looking for signs and portents that will give me a clue to his future, but such things are only decipherable in retrospect. Instead, I have faith that like last time, my son has a plan, and no matter what it is, he’ll always be first in line.

Aaron, just home from his last deployment, with his wife and daughter. With his Navy stint drawing to a close, he and his family will soon be sailing uncharted waters.
Aaron, just home from his last deployment, with his wife and daughter. When his Navy stint ends, he and his family will be sailing uncharted waters.


Add yours →

  1. Awww…what a lovely post! I especially love the shots of him wearing the sailor boy shirt and the one of him in his uniform.

    Cheers – Ellen |

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Beautiful! Love the signs! Loving post!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. A completely readworthy post! So well written, really enjoyed the post and the pictures. Best wishes to Aaron and his lovely family

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Love this one! You’re off to a great start!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. What a beautiful post and such beautiful pictures of your son.

    @magickislife from
    My Creatively Random Life

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you very much! By the way, I tried to comment on your blog about the letter A, but was unable to do so. It sounds like a great book, and I want to wish you good luck on the rest of the challenge. Maybe I’ll try again to comment later, but I’m out of time as I’m about to board a flight!


  6. What a beautiful post, and please pass on thanks and gratitude to Aaron and his family for his service.
    @ScarlettBraden from
    Frankly Scarlett

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I have to ask: Did Aaron get to ride in the Nautilus at the “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” attraction at Disney World? If so, that would have been his first “submarine” experience. I believe it was shut down in the early ’90s.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Aye, A wonderful way to start! Many thanks to Aaron and his family for their service and sacrifice! Great photos!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Your son Aaron is a couple of years younger than my youngest sister. We never went to Disney World, but I remember seeing glasses like that at Disneyland in the 80s.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. randommusings29 April 1, 2016 — 1:42 pm

    Lovely post. Aaron sounds like a son any mother could be proud of 🙂


  11. I can’t think of a nicer way to begin your #Challenge than with an A post about your son. We all owe him and all our military such a debt of gratitude for trying to keep us safe. (Now if the current administration would admit we are at war, everyone could get on with their jobs and end this senseless awful thing. But, I digress. One year during Lent I wrote a letter everyday to someone important in my life. I didn’t have to write about X or Z. the only letters not finished and waiting in my queue. Love the #Challenge because it takes me to places like like your blog for the first time. Come see me if you find time.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Deborah Farrisi April 1, 2016 — 2:23 pm

    Well done, but you had an easy subject. Looking forward to the rest.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. What a fantastic post. Very inspirational and I feel your pride. A great opening to the A to Z challenge. Look forward to checking in regularly. Have a lovely weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Best part ever…hours in the basement playing video games! Of course, that WOULD give good training for life aboard a sub! Clever and heartwarming post!
    Donna Smith
    A to Z Challenge and NaPoWriMo
    Mainely Write

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Love this post and the photos that go with it 🙂 Can’t wait to read “B”! You’re off to an awesome start!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. What a beautiful, loving tribute.

    Have a wonderful A to Z,
    Sylvia van Bruggen

    Liked by 1 person

  17. What a great tribute! Can’t wait to read the rest!

    Liked by 1 person

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