My DS, 2nd Lt USMC, left this morning on his road trip to TBS in Quantico – his report date will coincide exactly with the one year anniversary of his commissioning. Similar to other PLCers, his PLC route to commissioning had him in Quantico for two other summers: the first one between his sophomore and junior year and the second between his junior and senior year. No strangers these PLCers are to the route to Quantico. DS graduated with a Civil Engineering degree last year and was fortunate to land a full-time 40/hr/wk paid internship with the County Civil Engineering Department here in our new home state. Since we didn’t charge him rent, he was able to afford a car with his intern pay. And the work experience in his field was absolutely invaluable; he got to see up close and personal how professionals in a non-military setting conduct themselves and their business day in and day out for an entire year. The stories he shared at the dinner table were pretty hilarious at times. As parents of an employed, college graduate, commissioned officer adult child living back home for a finite amount of time until his military report date, my husband and I worked a bit to settle into our still-parents-but-not-PARENTS-roles – it took some getting used to at first, but a new normal evolved and quite soon felt just right. But then this morning arrived. Our son (he’s the 3rd one in our bunch in the military) packed his car with uniforms, boots, computer, and a few meager belongings, gave a brotherly hug to his two youngest siblings (the two teenagers with Down syndrome who idolize him) and then delivered a grown man hug to his father and me – and away he drove. And once again, “getting used to this” is on the agenda in our household.