Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Accidental Veterans Day

I regret to say that the Goof clan did not do anything special for Veterans Day. There is no excuse. America’s veterans made great sacrifices to ensure the freedom that we enjoy every day. We didn’t even go to a Veterans Day sale – and truly our Veterans made their great sacrifices thinking that their children, and their children’s children could enjoy the opportunity to purchase discount mattresses and kitchenware.

But I did take the little Goofs to the bookfair at their school. Each of them was permitted to purchase two items. I didn’t look at their purchases carefully (it was the school bookfair, so I wasn’t really worried about the appropriateness of the material.)

But at bedtime, my daughter dropped her current book and had me read the new one, introducing me to Piper Reed: Navy Brat (by Kimberly Willis Holt). Piper’s dad is a Navy NCO who fixes jets and is called Chief. His family has to move a lot because that is the life of a navy family. And sometimes he has to go away for long stretches on ships.

Goofgirl found this fascinating and asked if I could join the Navy and then we could live in different places, have adventures, and get a dog (because Piper has one.)

First and foremost, there is no military service that could make use of me – I am allergic to responsibility and require a lot of naps. But, putting that aside, I explained to Goofgirl, “If I were in the Navy I would have to go away on ships for a long time and you’d miss me.”

“No, we could all go with you.”

“No sweetheart. In the Navy, the daddies or the mommies go away on the ships for months. The kids don’t come because it can be dangerous. They are protecting us and sometimes to do that they have to go away for a long time.”

Her eyes got a little wide as it all sunk in. She didn’t know it was Veterans Day, but she did get an inkling of their sacrifices.

Meanwhile, Piper has taken her rightful place in the pantheon of my daughter’s literary heroes, next to Ramona, Junie B. Jones, Cam Jansen, and Judy Moody.

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