My son is going to Afghanistan.

I normally write about style and fashion—fun, frivolous things that have no serious impact on my life other than to make me feel good about a new find. Admittedly, it’s a fleeting kind of joy, but it has had a place nevertheless.

Lately, however, my ability to write about shoes or purses…dresses or sweaters…has been compromised by a more critical issue: my baby boy leaves for Afghanistan in less than three months.

He’s intelligent, brave, fierce, and well-trained by the Army National Guard. He did his basic training at Fort Knox, Kentucky, which boasts the toughest boot camp in the country. On graduation day, he spoke calmly and confidently of completing drills he never thought he could master. He emerged from that experience a competent, confident young man, and my pride in him is boundless.

Now he’s heading to a war zone, and my respect for his position prevents me from divulging details of what he will be doing there. Suffice it to say that while his job is serving his country, my job is keeping the faith.

Of course I realize I’m not the only mother whose son has gone off to war, but I sometimes think my thoughts and fears are mine alone—unexplainable feelings that no one else has ever experienced or is capable of understanding. Sometimes I wrap myself in a cocoon of those feelings, and in some bizarre way it makes me feel more connected to my child. Yes, I am afraid for him, but I hold fast to the belief that he will be safe.

Vanity Fair’s 2010 International Best-Dressed List

Some of these are clearly on target…others are a bit of a shocker.

Helena Bonham Carter? She’s on my OMG page, so I obviously disagree with that one.

Maggie Gyllenhaal? Perhaps I’ll rethink her if she ever lands a stylist who wisely advises her to lift the “girls.”

I understand and accept Lady Gaga, because Vanity Fair explains upfront that the decisions were based on individual taste and self-expression. And let’s face it: Gaga’s penchant for hoof shoes can certainly be considered individually expressive.


The 2010 International Best-Dressed List Style: