We have been discussing patriotism at our house lately. Daughter is dating a boy who will begin his career with the Marines in two short months. This presidential election matters to him. Not just because it's the first he will vote in, but as he puts it, "One of the dudes will send me to Iraq, one won't..."
He is ready and willing to do whatever his country asks, although he would prefer to stay alive doing it. I have grown to love this kid and I know I will become emotional as his ship out date nears. He's like one of my own.
Yet he's not.
I don't have to worry about my sons seeing combat any time soon. They are at least a few years away from making those kinds of choices.
But Daughter's boyfriend's mom is. She is offering up her son for the good of our country, for our freedom.
And I am thankful and grateful.
I don't know if I could have her stoic bravery if my own son, as gentle, kind, and sweet as hers, were on the list.
This is why I got just a bit emotional today at the first grade presentation. It was the day parents come to visit the classroom and hear the songs our little people have been learning at school. Songs like "This land is your land" and "The star spangled banner."
My little guy, just seven, stood up tall and waved his flag, packed in the middle of all his first grade pals. And they belted out their songs.
"She's a grand ole flag, she's a high flyin' flag, and forever in peace may she wave..."
I don't have to see my son off to war any time soon. I get to watch him grow and blossom and learn to love this country he was blessed to be born into. And some day he just may sign up to help defend her. And I will have to deal with it.
But for now he is waving his little flag, singing his sweet songs, and making his mommy thankful that he is safe and free and lives in the home of the brave.