Last night, we experienced a momentous occasion. I would be remiss if I ignored this event as it relates to us today. My father was in the Army. My grandfather, my husband, my cousin, my friend…they have given their all to support our freedom in the armed forces.
And as I watched the news, I spent some time reflecting on what this means for us. Without delving into the politics and morality issues of war, our military is full of men and women to be proud of. They deserve respect and thanks from every one of us. I try to instill this thinking in my children. It was only a week ago that I was in the grocery store with my kids when we passed a man in fatigues. As we walked by, I smiled and thanked him for his service. My son then told me that while on the school bus one day, the children all yelled and waved to a military vehicle that was next to them on the road.
As I raise my children, I try to impress small lessons that sink in quickly. I try to lead by example. Table manners? Sure. Never wander off? Absolutely. Respect? Ok…let's face it, that's a tough one. Even if I think they don't always show it properly, at least now I know they give it when it counts.
I was a fairly good kid growing up. I had my rebellious years for a bit, but like everyone else, I never thought I would be a strict parent. After having kids, it's much easier to appreciate my parents and what they did for me growing up. Being a mom is a tough job. We have to make rules and know when to draw the line between friend and parent. We have to put up with the "No!" and "I hate you!" and "It's not fair!" screams. It's not all cupcakes and sprinkles.
The good thing is, there are many more wonderful moments to remember fondly. The first giggles, first steps and first words are always exciting. But then there are the times that you get to see your child developing an individual personality. Or watch them enjoy their own achievements. One of my favorite moments with my son, now 11, is watching him get his first hit in baseball. As he ran to first base, I could see the glow of disbelief and pride on his face. He has also shown some great artistic potential. Going to the art show at his school was important to him. You could see it in his bubbly energy as we all walked in together. He nearly skipped to the exhibit to find his items. At his first guitar performance, he refused to look at me, probably knowing I was tearing like an embarrassing mother would.
My daughter is only four, and she is a whole different breed. It was obvious from the start that everything she did would be on her terms only. She can be indignant and frustrating. She can also be incredibly entertaining. Even when she misbehaves, my husband and I struggle not to laugh at her actions in order to show that being disciplined is serious. She's brazen and clever, and I think some day she is going to pursue her dreams with tenacity.
It is my honor to direct you to our next blogger, Crystal. She will be posting her entry tomorrow at Domestic, But Not Martha at http://www.domesticbutnotmartha.com/ tomorrow.
Crystal has become a dear friend of mine on Twitter @DmstcBtNtMartha. She is a young mother and military wife and I find the timing poignant that she was scheduled so early in our tour to share her story. She is constantly working to help others with fundraising, volunteering and prayers. She is a kind heart and a beautiful soul and I am lucky to call her a friend.
Please be sure to continue the tour with her tomorrow!