Remembering and Teaching (& Parading)

Would you believe that the FireFamily has never posed together for a picture in front of a fire truck? FireDad and I have one together when I was still (very) pregnant with BigBrother. But since then? Not even three of us at one time have taken a picture in front of a fire truck. We remedied that today before the Memorial Day parade.

The FireFamily

And, yes, the boys got to ride in the fire truck for the parade today. BigBrother rode up front on Firedad’s lap as he sat in the passenger seat. I sat in back with LittleBrother. While BigBrother was more serious about his job as a firefighter, LittleBrother waved his little hand and said “hi” in his tiny little voice (so different from his older brother’s voice) as we passed the people on the sidewalk. They both enjoyed themselves.

BigBrother is Happy

LittleBrother with His Helmet On

They’re still too young to understand, of course. I told BigBrother that we were having a parade because it was Memorial Day. He repeated me and went on to talk about fire trucks. He doesn’t understand the concepts of war and death just yet. He doesn’t know that my good friend’s brother died almost three years ago… mainly because he was just about eight months old at the time. I did tell him, as we sat together during lunch, that we honor Soldiers who aren’t with us anymore on Memorial Day. He just smiled and said, Okay Mom! (When did he start calling me Mom? That’s a post for another day, I suppose.)

We will teach these boys, as I’ve said before, about those who have gone before them. We will teach them the importance of forming your own healthy opinions on issues like peace and war. We will also teach them the importance of respecting the military; those fighting, those fallen, those grieving. FireDad spent eight years in the Army and, if I’m honest, I’m relieved beyond measure that those years are now behind us. I have enough to worry about as it is, don’t I? I know we’ll teach them what we know about each war. We’ll look up the information. We’ll share our emotions and experiences regarding the one(s?) for which we were alive. But, I do think, most importantly, we will teach them those two things: to form their own opinions while maintaining that respect. I think that is the best thing we can do to honor those who have given their lives so that we may continue to teach our children in a way we find best fitting for our family.

Today the FireFamily honors those men and women who have given all.

 

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8 Replies to “Remembering and Teaching (& Parading)”

  1. Sometimes I struggle with issues like this, as an Army wife and also a big opponent of the Iraq war. I confess that there are times I don’t feel as patriotic as many people seem to think I should. But more and more I think we’re using the word “patriotism” where “nationalism” is more correct. Anyway, what I mean to say is that I like how you explain the balance. Critical thinking with the always present respect for our troops. I like for my kids to see how we honor them, especially as their dad gets ready to deploy.

    1. Brittany; I know what you mean. I recently was involved in an online discussion where a girl/woman blatantly said that she hated the war and, therefore, with her logic, said that she also hated the Soldiers. I couldn’t comprehend what she was saying. I don’t like the war. But to say the things (there were more that I wouldn’t dare repeat) that she said about the Soldiers themselves? It made me sick.

      There’s a balance to find, I think, especially for families like ours and perhaps yours. I want our sons to be able to form their own opinions (which means I’ll have to respect what they think and feel even if it is different than what I think or feel) but I also want them to be respectful. Hopefully we’re on the right path. I’ll let you know in ten to twenty years. HA!

  2. We rode in the fire truck in the parade today too! I took our camera, but the batteries were dead-I was SO bummed! LOL!

    I didn’t try to explain what today was about to the kids since they are still quite young. All they know is they rode in the fire truck and they didn’t get candy. (They are used to getting candy at parades-LOL!) I think a simple little expaination, like you gave to BigBrother, would be good for them this year, though.

    Kristies last blog post..Make Something Monday (a little early): Patriotic Gelatin Salad

  3. I love how you and commenter Brittany worded it. I especially like Brittany’s “critical thinking with ever-present respect.” Because whether we agree with this particular war or not, it’s the ultimate sacrifice of so many people that have let us become the country we are today and have let us enjoy so many liberties we often take for granted.Thank you to those who have given so much, and thank you to those who are willing to risk it all.

    Katie in MAs last blog post..The postlet about sunburns that one will care about ‘cept me.

  4. I didn’t like it when my son went from calling me Mommy to Mom. It’s just something about Mommy that still makes them your baby. :) He was about 3 and half when he made the switch and at 5 and half I still melt when he switches and calls me Mommy.
    Amy
    P.S. I like your hair!

    Amys last blog post..Why are people so cold hearted

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