Army babies
2007-02-22 - 7:21 a.m.

There's a lab in our office building, just a few doors down from us. The woman who runs the lab has become a friendly acquaintance of mine. Her daughter and I were pregnant at the same time, and there seems to be an unwritten rule that when you're getting ready to become a grandmother for the first time and your future grandchild is not going to live near you, you need to bond with whatever pregnant woman is closest to you. That would have been me for Raeanne.

Last year, she came over to tell us that her stepdaughter was pregnant. The baby is now four months old. Quite a little cutie, too.

Raeanne stopped at our office the other day to give us yummy leftover cake from her parents' 50th wedding anniversary party. As I always do, I asked after her daughter and her stepdaughter.

She told us that her stepdaughter, who is in the Army, just got confirmation that she's going to Iraq in May. For a year. She'd appealed the (what do you call it? Assignment? Deployment? Yes--deployment sounds right) deployment, but was unsuccessful. Uncle Sam is sending her anyway, infant or not.

Her husband is also in the Army. He, at least for the moment, is staying where he is.

This is why I would not make a good soldier.

Uncle Sam: Jennifer, we're sending you away.

Jennifer: But I have a seven-month-old infant that needs me.

Uncle Sam: Tough noogies. You're going anyway.

Jennifer: So long, USA!

I would. I would run away rather than have to leave my baby at home so I could go off and fight someone else's war.

It's a totally moot point, as I will never be a part of the armed forces. But the mother in me is incensed.

How do you do that? How do you kiss your baby goodbye and head off to parts unknown? I just don't know.


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