My charges for a month. They hated me sometimes for being the reason they had to sleep in the cold and the wet when their friends were warm in their beds. They hated the constant corrections, the criticism. They hated the wrathful ire their mistakes would draw.
If they hated me, despite their privilege, naivete, and softness, I loved them. I loved them for being what I once was nearly four years ago. They are vessels full of hopes and plans not yet realized, and ignorant of rapidly approaching obstacles in their path. I love them for being untouched.
How else could I have shown them that the things they may soon do will take things from them, that they will cross a threshold that they can never return from. I tried one night, to tell a bleary eyed cadet about the things we carry, to warn against the shock that would come.
my words ring hollow, and in my heart I hope that they will never become a truth for them.