I've written a lot about my kids, their adventures and their MIS-adventures. Having five kids, there’s never a dull moment in the Baschwit household. Most of them are still finding their place in this world as they enter adulthood. This definitely keeps me on my toes!
Most recently, my son, Bryant Alsup, announced he plans to walk cross-country. As crazy as it seems to me, he has proven time and time again . . . if he sets his mind to something he's likely to do it! My son is a veteran of the United States Marine Corps. I know getting back into civilian life has not been an easy adjustment for him but the last thing I expected was for him to announce that he's planning on walking across the country to raise money for other veterans. I just imagined the scene from the classic movie, Forest Gump where he says “I just started running.”
Here's my kid, who's going to go out into this crazy world all alone, for a cross-country walk. It’s a mother's nightmare! I can only imagine the lack of sleep until this venture is over! As my thoughts scatter as to what a crazy idea this is . . . I happen to get a link sent to me from a friend on a story they thought would be great for The Paper. Of all the stories to have sent to me, this was the Scott Laughlin story. Laughlin is a CHS grad, a USMC veteran, and a Desert Storm combat veteran who just so happens to be training for a 2,500-mile walk from Parris Island, S.C. to San Diego, Calif. to raise money and awareness for Vietnam veterans. Not only is he planning this massive feat, he happens to be looking for anyone interested in joining him. Of course my first thought is that these people have lost their minds. There are days when I tire out just walking through the store.
I immediately reached out to Laughlin to set up an interview. He was planning a 40-mile walk from Lafayette to Crawfordsville and we agreed to meet at the Byron Cox Post American Legion. This interview was extra special because I was able to invite my son along with me. He has spent weeks researching and planning every detail of his own trip, along with months of training for this physical endeavor. I thought this would be a great way for him to get advice and compare notes with a fellow Marine and extremist.
We get to the Legion and wait patiently for our turn to begin our long list of questions.
One of the others waiting was Laughlin's mom. As my son and Laughlin are talking about their mutual interest in pushing their bodies and spirits to the limit and the passion and concern they have for other veterans . . . the two moms got to talk. I was able to ask, from one mom to another, how she feels about her son walking with no more than a backpack and a few essentials for more than 60 days. My son has just recently come home. Her son came home many years ago after his service in 1994. No matter the years, as moms we had so much in common. We experience all the same fears and stresses. We both could relate to the seemingly innocent phone calls when you know they won't share anything bad so they just make small talk but in your heart you know something is amiss and you can sense that something is happening in their life. It's hard to explain, but a mother always knows.
My son asked Laughlin his biggest concern about the walk. Laughlin responded that it was his feet and back hurting. The two got a bit of a laugh together as my son said, “That's a true Marine answer right there!”
I was taken back. As a reporter, I had a proud mom moment because that was a really good question. However, I expected an answer more on the lines of getting hit by a car or harmed in some way. Just as I was getting ready to ask Laughlin if that was any concern to him, his mom chimed in and let me know that was her concern! Between my son feeling this need to take on this huge feat of the human body and spirit, and me worrying and struggling to understand . . . the afternoon ended with both of us getting advice from people who had lived similar experiences and made new friends who we had a great deal in common with. My son may have even found a walking partner – which would be a relief to two mothers so that we would know that our sons are not out there alone. Nonetheless, I learned no matter how grown our children are . . . whether they're in their 20s or almost 50 years old . . . whether it happened last week or 25 years ago, us mother's will always worry!
Until next week, stay safe, stay healthy and remember . . . we're all in this together!

Stacey Baschwit works at The Paper of Montgomery County, along with her many other duties, and writes a weekly column about the people, places and events that make up her world.