Tuesday, June 26, 2012
What Kind of Parent Would...
I call it rhetorical, because I laugh when I think of what anyone asking that would do if the parent "in question" actually came back with an answer. Pass out or swallow teeth, I suppose. This comment is uttered when one parent has come to conclusions regarding another parent's actions...minds are already made up. No answer required.
We just had Memorial Day and 4th of July is right around the corner. In my cave, the latter tended to get caught up in one thing at times...all-out firework extravaganza that would rattle the windows on the block. My husband always liked to use the , "We're supporting the local youth groups raising money for their summer camps!" excuse to justify the purchasing of massive amounts of multi-colored explosives. Whatever.
Oh, we are extremely patriotic in our cave. Caveman served in the Air Force prior to our union, and took part in the '83 invasion of Grenada. One nephew is an officer in the Marines, and yet another currently serves in the Air Force. But, back when little boys lived in my cave, fireworks took up a lot of our thinking and planning.
While we were watching war movie marathons and making firework shopping lists, we noticed that one of our little guys was quite taken with it all. Lots of questions about different conflicts throughout our nation's history, with interest in everything from land mapping to specific battles down through the years.
If a young man we knew joined a branch of the Armed Services, our curious child would try to get a copy of the recruit's first picture in uniform. We watched an old cave movie the other day, and there in our boy's room...in the background of the shenanigan's being filmed...you could see those pictures. Proudly on display for all of his 5th grade buddies to see.
He wrote to those servicemen and prayed for them. At the time, I just thought he was a sweet kid.
Oh, sure. He talked about being in the military from third grade on. But, he also talked about being a ninja, a puppy and an Irish River Dancer...so, we didn't really pay close attention in those early days.
By the second half of high school, we knew. We knew he wouldn't be happy doing anything else. We knew he wanted to serve his country.
Over the years, I've heard the "question." Overheard (double meaning intended), I should say. "How can they let him (or 'her,' thank you very much, ladies!) join the military?! What kind of parent would be okay with that?"
"What kind of parent would support putting their child in harm's way? Don't they care more than that? I don't understand! I love my kids too much to go for something like that!"
We remembered last month. We celebrate next month. My kid (an Army officer-in-training) is in Africa this month. I'm emotional every month (and day.)
Thank you to all of the men and women serving in our Armed Forces. Thank you to all of the spouses and children who also sacrifice so much.
Thank you to all of the parents who have gone before me and set the most incredible example of selflessness.
You don't just care about your family being safe...you care about an entire nation being safe.
You don't think solely of your own wants and desires...but, also those of your children.
You don't put having everyone home for Christmas before having a country we can actually say "Christmas" in.
What kind of parent...would I like to be?
(That's definitely rhetorical.)