Tuesday, July 29, 2008

'splainin the army to the boys at bedtime

"What is armies?" David asks, Andrew echoes the question.
"An army is a group of..." I am interrupted in the middle of my wonderfully vague statement.
"Do armies carry guns?" Andrew asks getting to his bottom line.
"Yes" I hesitate.
"Why do you ask?" I ask frantically thinking of what to say.

The boys then explain they saw the photograph that is tied to this article. They explained it something like a man carrying a boy, wearing camaflage, the boy looked scared. We discuss armies, soldiers, the military not in much detail but explaining how grandpa, Pauline and Grandma Sherry have all served in the military.

"Why was the boy scared?" David really can see himself in that photo- he is 5 now, why would any boy need to be so scared?

I think about the story tied to the follow-up article and how scared that soldier and the boy must have been and my heart is breaking. I tell the story of a brave man carrying the boy away from harm and how soldiers protect our freedom. I explain very briefly how some want to harm us ("why?" David asks, why indeed). I talk about being peace-loving people and others arent so peaceful. And we are in Iraq to protect the peaceful people of Iraq who want freedom from the people who would scare them.

Who is this person explaining this? Karl Rove? No, it is me. Thankful the boys cant read a 1500 word article, thankful they didnt see the picture on the front page a few months ago of a person holding a wounded child, who died later and most certainly looked dead in the photo (all I can think about is the shoes the child was wearing- really cute sandals, absolutely something my children may wear). I cant find the link to the WaPo photo/article.

Andrew wants to be a soldier, David an astronaut. Those are both noble, brave professions I tell them, praying we end this war soon and somehow find a way to be a force for peace in the world.

"What is the government?" David asks, I say "time for bed".

1 comment:

mckora said...

I think...I can't recall for sure...I made up fairy tales about it all. For 4 years I had a recurring nightmare that I had to get my family over the Rhine before the Russians got there...Duty...family...wake up! catch my breath and just go back to sleep. The joys of being young!