Aidan in April
Aidan should be home in July! We are all looking forward to that, as you can imagine!
He is having quite a difficult decision to make about what he will do when he gets back. In fact, I gather that he's been agonizing about it a bit.
He has a specialty which, if he stayed in Iraq and worked for a contractor, would pay him in the three figures. It would pay for completion of college, buy a house, let Susan stay home with Calvin, etc. However, he would not be with Calvin. There was also the possibility of uprooting Susan and Calvin and moving to Virginia, to do the same sort of job. Wouldn't pay nearly as well as doing it in Iraq. And then, the third option is returning to his former job doing security and loss-prevention for the Goodwill in Pittsburgh. He actually rather enjoyed that work. That will pay not well, as one might imagine, but he will be home with Cal; Susan will have the continued support of her extended family and there is not the stress of moving. Aidan can also continue his education, in addition to working. It does mean that Susan will need to work as well, but I think that between the two of them and Susan's family, Cal will not be in daycare.
Poor Aidan. He is grown up now! It is an interesting phenomenon to see your children suddenly have "adult" decisions to make. I guess I suddenly understand that there is a dividing line between those decisions you make as a young adult that really impact no one but yourself. Maybe they are "practice" decisions really. I recall them as being rather fun - they seem "big" at the time because they will make a big difference to your immediate future, but they have a bit of thrill and excitement to them that is unsullied by the burden of caring for others. You find that when you marry and have children the decisions you make are not quite so carefree and fun anymore because they impact more people than just yourself. And these "serious" decisions are the ones you will have to make thereon out. No more throwing caution to the wind. Welcome to adulthood!