Going forward

I blogged last year about my September 11th, 2001 memory. So, this year, I decided to look around me at the here and now.

While I have a deep interest in politics, I generally don’t talk about it much on the blog. Mostly because parenting isn’t a political state of being, which is mostly what I deal in. Last time I checked, both liberals and conservatives suffer the same trials in potty training toddlers. I am abnormally “red” for the greater Seattle area, but it’s a challenge that I accept daily. But on this blog, I am just swapping survival stories from my own parenting experience, and my own political views don’t play a part in that.

But, as most of you know, my brother, the Captain, is serving his second tour of duty in Iraq. I don’t intend for this post to be about the war – it’s not meant to be. It’s about how I deal with the war on a daily basis.

First of all, I pray. I pray a lot. Second, the Captain is fortunate enough to have internet access in his living quarters, so I have spent many many hours chatting with him over instant messenger. He’s 11 hours ahead of me, so we’re usually catching each other at the opposite times of day, and one of us usually has to tell the other to go to bed. He didn’t have IM the first time, so it has been a real treat to actually have real-time conversations with him that don’t involve three-second delays over the phone. We spend a lot of time just shooting the breeze – one of us inevitably remembers something funny from our childhood at some point, or quotes a movie, and then we’re off on a tangent. And I get to tell him about all the funny stuff the Munchkin and Little Tad are up to. Third, we send packages. He just got our most recent one – it included gum, coffee, Glade air freshener candles, and lots of pictures. The Munchkin has “drawn” pictures for him and “written” letters, which we’ve also mailed to him. We keep him fresh in her memory, and she prays for him every night.

I’m not sure why I’m writing all of this. On a day like today, we tend to look at the past. We should, but then we need to look forward as well. The best thing that we can do on a day like today is to value life. Hug the kids a little tighter. Thank the soldiers who are serving in combat, far away from their families who love them. To those who think that death is the fulfillment of their mission on Earth, and want to take as many innocent people with them as they can, I choose to live with the freedom that so many have died to give and preserve.

And so, to celebrate life, I have been baking cookies for a baby shower that I’m going to tonight at church. Our children’s director just had a baby boy five weeks early. He’s doing fine, and went home from the hospital just a few days after being born because he was doing so well. The shower was already scheduled, but now the “guest of honor” will be there. It’s the best thing I can think of to do today.

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