Monday, May 26, 2008

Ode to a Soldier

An election day story in the life of a busy American family

It was November 8, 2005 and I had just picked up my two children from school. We had a few errands to run, which was typical for us -- the bank, the post office and then I needed to vote. There were a few propositions on the ballot this time around in California. I decided my kids could come along, maybe it would be educational and I really didn’t have time in my work day before picking them up.

As I announced our next errand was to vote, interest peeked in the car. My daughter who was in the first grade became very excited and told me I had to vote for George Washington. When I informed her that George Washington lived long ago and I was not even voting for the president today, the kids seemed disappointed. Then my daughter asked “Mom do you like the president we have now?” I cautiously considered my response although I believe in being honest with my children, I also want them to learn to think for themselves and not blindly adopt my politics.

Before I could answer the question my son piped up……I saw a bumper sticker that said “Bush lied, so boys died and America paid.” Why would someone write that, my son asked.
I responded - Well some people are really upset about the war in Iraq and believe that Bush did lie. Then I preceded to give my children what I thought was a balanced opinion of things.
Well I do like many things that our president believes in, however I am unsure about the war.

My son burst out with this retort.. and the following exchange ensued…

Son - “what if you saw a little girl being eaten by wolves would you try to save her or just walk away and let her die.”

Mom – “ Well I would want to help her, but if I had you kids with me I would be worried that you would get hurt and I am not sure I would risk it, that is really the issue – we are asking Americans to risk their lives to fight for someone else.”

Son - “Yeah but I would rather risk getting hurt than not help that little girl!” “that is what God did for us!”

I guess there is no fear that my son will blindly adopt my politics, he has his own opinions well developed. I was correct, taking my kids to vote turned out to be very educational, especially for me. It is important to remember, we have an all volunteer armed forces, and they know they are probably putting themselves at risk when they join up, and that is truly heroic.

Here’s to all our soldiers who are willing to risk themselves to help someone else!

1 comment:

Laura@storytellinmama said...

Your kids are so amazing and thoughtful. You've got two smart cookies!

Great Memorial Day post!