Tuesday, May 27, 2008

How to...

So as my memorial day post might have alluded too I'm a little pissy when people either don't realize or fail to remember what the day is really about. I was thinking that if I don't want my children to be those people then its up to flyboy and I to impart in them an understanding for just what the day means and who it should be about.

My husband remembers as a kid going back to visit his grandparents in Pennsylvania every memorial day that they were stationed on the east coast. They would go to the VFW ceremonies and visit family graves of veterans. So I started thinking about explaining it to my kids, granted with the elder only being three he's still kinda young to understand, but even now I didn't want him just blowing thru the day completely oblivious. I hit a bit of a snag though.

I went to flyboy and thought for sure he would tell me that I was thinking to hard and was shocked to see how serious he got the second the words came out of my mouth. I asked him how in the world we explain Memorial day and thanking people who have made a sacrifice, especially during this war, without opening the floodgates of worry. Flyboy is at a total loss as well. I had a near miss a few months back with a similar train of thought, flyboy was off somewhere. Dash-1 asked what if flyboy didn't come home, I paused and silently started freaking out, and then he said "what if he just keeps flying and flying and ends up at the moon." (He's a tad space obsessed) That one was simple, I took the direct approach, no way did daddy's plane have near enough gas, extra gas bladders or not, to make it to space. Flyboy is working out his own questions. We took the boys to the Air and Space Museum and in the World War 2 exhibit he saw the planes with bombs and guns on them. He wanted to know what the bomb was for and if daddy's plane did anything with bombs and why.

If my husband wasn't in the military I would have no problem explaining the day to them. I would have done it yesterday without reservation, I would remind them that responsible, courageous people answer a call to serve their country and some people don't come home, that their service is very special.

How do you do it? Especially right now in a war climate, when daddy will probably deploy again in the next year. How do you remember and yet reassure?

I'm probably thinking too hard aren't I?


  1. I want to thank you and your family for all the sacrifices you have made for this country.

  2. Oh gosh, I have no idea how to explain all of that. I've struggled with this issue too. I'll have to check back here to see what kind of useful advice you're given...

  3. The more I think about it, I'm so very very grateful that i dont have to explain to my little ones who their daddy was and why he isnt coming back. Now those folks really deserve our thanks to say the least.

  4. On the news yesterday, a reporter said that one of the veterans he interviewed said that people need to remember that Memorial Day is just another day, and we should just use this day to appreciate our lives and the reasons we get to live the way Americans do. I think for younger kids, its important for them to learn to appreciate the freedoms we enjoy and to learn that Memorial Day is a day of appreciating that we can do things like go swimming and go shopping whenever we feel like it because their Dad and other soldiers work every day to make sure we have those freedoms and so its important to remember and be proud of all the soldiers, all the time.

  5. My kids are a little older than yours, but when they ask me what if daddy doesn't come home...I tell them the truth. I say that that is a possibility, but Daddy is very good at his job and will do everything he can to come home to you and me. I can't let myself gloss it over in anyway, because if the worst were to happen, then what would I do? I also tell them that we will be OK. We would miss him lots but we would be OK.

    In answer to your comment on my site - yes, we live near DC. About 45 minutes away, send me an email at bleueyes76@yahoo.com. I will give you my good email from there!

  6. Hard one isn't it! I decided that I needed to start explaining to my son about why he was out of school yesterday and why it is a special day. I figured in the next couple of years he might understand more but this year I just told him it was a day that our nation remembered our soliders who have died for our country just like his daddy. I had him say Memorial Day a few times and why it is important. Then I told him for us every day is Memorial Day because we miss daddy so very much and he was a solider who is now in heaven. I know it is probably not the best explanation but I think it is a start. Now it is time to tackle Father's Day and why his isn't here, sigh.

  7. I have no idea, wow. I have to admit, that as a child who had parents who were often less than honest (lots of marital problems..sigh), I really wish that honesty had been a bigger part of our communication. So for me, personally, when that time comes I think I'd have to be truthful and not beat around the bush. Obviously, not being a mother, I have no idea how to balance that with not scaring the ever living crap out of them.

    Many prayers for you. I cannot express how much I admire you, and how you are raising your boys.

  8. That bit about the bombs got me thinking...and I really am not looking forward to the discussion of nuclear war. I know it's coming. But right now, submarines are just cool. And I think I'll teach him about the flag, and what it means to be free first. I think he can grasp respect for our country, and the rest will just have to come later.

    I guess I'm planning to approach it sort of like the sex talks - if he wants to know, he will ask. And when he does, I will tell him the truth.


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