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.
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.
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.