For the last twenty years, I have tried to take pictures of the boys on their first day of school. Our firstborn married and moved away, and the "baby" also graduated from high school and fled the nest to his own apartment five mile west. Middle son has been my only one left to take pictures of, and as he started his senior year of college, I took the first day of classes picture, the first day in full uniform picture, the first day of being twenty-one birthday picture, and today, the first day in "ACUs" as their Army ROTC uniform changed from the green jungle camo (BDUs) to the diggie desert camo with tan suade boots. ACU means Army Combat Uniform. BDU means Battle Dress Uniform. My son throws these capital letters around like whole words, so I had to ask him to slow down and explain. My oldest did ROTC in college, too, but as his college was "away" down south at A&M, and they were not allowed off campus in uniform, I rarely saw him in full regalia unless we attended a game or Aggie function. And firstborn's Air Force uniform now is different from middle son's diggies. Some day I'll be brave and ask about all the noncom and commissioned and reserved and the terms they throw about for rank. Maybe my sister-in-law with a son in the Army, another in the Air Force Reserves, and a son in the Navy can give a seminar to bring this old mom up to speed.
I put all the first day of school pictures in a row down the front hall. Ran out of room, actually. Maybe this new picture of middle son in his diggies will go under the picture of him as a toddler watching big brother head to kindergarten. What a contrast. And it seems like yesterday. And I see the handwriting on the wall---next May, just eight months from now, middle son will put on his "class A" uniform and the next will be truly empty. And my mission accomplished? Nah, mom is a verb. Once a mom...always a mom. It sure is fun being a grannie, too !