April 03, 2003

I'd make a horrible politician

I'm just full of words lately, aren't I? I suppose that is better than being full of something else...

I had such a nice time last night, remembering the first time that John and I went out. It doesn't seem like seventeen years. If the WildChild weren’t so old, I'd swear it was just a few years ago. Of course, I also swore that yesterday was Tuesday, so take that for what it is worth.

Someone asked me what I felt about the reactions in Europe to this war, especially since we'd lived there. I honestly don't know.

When we were there last, Gulf War v1.0 happened. The Berlin wall had just come down a few months before I went over there to be with John. I was pregnant with the WildChild. We did not live on base for the majority of our time there. We lived above a German toy store.

I remember being scared when the war broke out. Even before that, we had been on the emotional roller coaster of thinking that John would be deployed. In the end, the military decided that it would be too hard to support the families who were so far away from any real military base. While it gave me some relief, it was still heartbreaking to watch friends say goodbye to their husbands. Once the war did break out, we never felt any animosity from anyone when we were out shopping or taking a walk. Perhaps that was because so many more countries were involved, I don't know. I know that our landlord was so very understanding about the husbands that were being deployed. She worked with us to help get apartments cleared, for those that were going home for the duration of the war. She talked with me and waited for rent money from those that went home but didn't give up their apartment.

The politics of that war are so much different than this time around. People all over the world are angry with Americans for this war. I don't know that I understand the vitriol coming from Europe. What I do know is this....we are all free to believe and think what we want. Part of being American is knowing that I have the freedom to agree or disagree with this war. I have the freedom to think and say what I want. I have the freedom to come and go as I like. To pick and choose where my information comes from and which nuggets of data I will process.

I would hope that if the situations were reversed, I would be able to support any woman that had sent her husband off to war. I would hope that I could at least put politics aside and, instead, have empathy for her devotion to both family and country. There are hundreds of thousands of mothers, fathers, husbands, wives, brothers, sisters and children that have said good-bye to someone in the military. All hoping that their service member comes home safe and sound. All hoping that the horrors of war never have to touch their loved one. We've seen from the TV that, for some, those hopes were not answered. There are young men and women who have paid the ultimate price...their life. There are young men and women who have seen firsthand all the horrors that come with war.

I wish I had all the answers, all the thoughts and words that could make everyone understand what it is like. The words to make everyone come to the same conclusions about what is going on in the world right now. My words help me. My words have helped other people understand what life is like right now. Their words have helped me know that I'm not alone.

*********************************************************
Special note to SPC. Jeff-
Your words especially touched me. I sat and cried for a long time after reading your email. I wish I was closer to your wife, just so that I could be there for her. I haven't been able to find the words to answer you privately, but felt that publicly, you needed to know that I read your letter. The words "thank you" seem so insignificant, yet I can't think of anything else to say. I've tried to reply, but every time I try I just have no idea what to say. Again, Thank YOU.

Posted by rowEn at 11:24 AM | Comments (0)

Back in good graces...

So I had to take the WildChild to school this morning. If I didn't, she would have been suspended. Here's what happened...

As you could tell from yesterday's entry, I went to sleep very shortly after writing the first entry. I woke up right after WildChild got home from school. She immediately fesses up and said that she'd gotten in trouble at school and thought she was suspended. Now, there was no paperwork, which made me mad, but she told me the whole story. Basically, a teacher thought she had done something, she didn't. When the teacher figured out who had screamed, he then directed his attention to the other kid. WildChild asked if she was still in trouble and the teacher said "no." WildChild then went on her way to the next class. A little while later, the kid who had gotten in trouble said that WildChild had to go see the teacher, that she was in trouble. In a nutshell, WildChild assumed that she wasn't in trouble and the teacher didn't really hear what WildChild had asked and therefore thought that she was being defiant by walking away.

I took her in this morning to find out exactly what was going on. I spoke with the teacher who said that it wasn't really a suspension, but that WildChild wouldn't have been let back in school without my coming in anyway (um, isn't that like being suspended?) I think WildChild was a little surprised that I stood firmly on her side. I personally felt that the punishment was a bit much and it could have been resolved by simply talking to her and listening to what she had to say. If she hadn't done anything wrong to begin with, ending up with a pseudo-suspension just seemed a bit excessive to me. All is well and she is back in class.

I'm home and took some of the muscle relaxers. No pain pills this morning, since I do need to be able to drive in a few hours.

Since I had some extra time this morning, I talked with the WildChild about a lot of things. I showed her some of the pictures of her half-brother. She smiled and said that he looks like me. I got the feeling that she wanted to ask more questions but didn't think that we had the time. I'll have to bring it back up this weekend and see what she really thinks. The news was on (I know, shock!) in the office while we were talking. I asked her if she had any questions about what was going on over in Iraq. She said she didn't, but that the teachers talked with the students about what was going on. A lot of other kids have a parent, or both, that are deployed somewhere. Again, probably a conversation that would benefit from being brought up when we have no time constraints.

She handles deployments quite well for someone her age. As long as we keep to a routine, things seem to go smoothly. I am so thankful for that, that I don't have to worry about her acting out just because he is not here. It is like she understands the need to take on a bit more responsibility and she's risen to the task. She is much more likely to do her chores and help out. Sure, I have to remind her every 2.6 seconds, but at least she is doing them. We have a lot of catching up to do this weekend as far as housework and laundry. The past few nights she's come into the bedroom and watched TV with me as I lay in bed. It has been nice, just having time together in the evenings. It is causing me a bunch of guilt this morning, knowing that I won't be home tonight or tomorrow night.

Keep your fingers crossed that something during the day turns up soon. It isn't about the money any more, but it is all about feeling like I'll be a better mom if I'm at least home in the evenings. Especially right now.

Posted by rowEn at 09:13 AM | Comments (0)