Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Feeling Gushy Today

Today I am feeling gushy about my kids. I don't know why. Perhaps it is because of that horrible video from Florida of teen boys smashing defenseless homeless people with bats. Perhaps it is because I got an e-mail today about Lucas's childhood next door neighbor "super soaker" and fort building buddy arriving in Iraq for the third time--the second time to Fallujah.

He survived the first tour just fine and in fact, we thought it gave him a sense of self-esteem he needed in his life. He was a Marine and a war hero and veteran at age 19 without seeing the horrors of war. It was good. This child did not have a father figure until later in his childhood; he had trouble making friends or getting along in high school; he was ADHD and more than once I kept him from leaping off of our second story deck. So he joined the Marines well in advance of the Iraq mess. His mother tried to talk him out of it.

The second time in Iraq put him in the middle of Fallujah. His best friend was blown to pieces right next to him. I do not even want to know what else he saw or what he had to do. He came back without physical injury except for a small scar above his eyebrow from, ironically, a fall off of a second story of a bombed building in Fallujah. A handsome kid, we were thankful it was only a small scar and that he had all of his limbs. His parents tell me he is fine and that he has been "handling things". He had troubles as a child and I witnessed them so I worry.

His mother, of course, worries constantly. I cannot even imagine. I stupidly worried for four days of Kaley's muscial auditions. I worried when Lucas was sick for two days by himself in France. Try worrying about your beloved handsome son for six months praying that he'll come home not only alive but in one piece. This is not fair to him or his family. It is horrible and senseless; the debilitating anxiety and the euphoria of relief when he comes home only to repeat it all over again. Six months and 22 days for daily prayers.

So I am gushy about my children today. My husband and I lucked out with two beautiful intelligent children with good hearts and wonderful friends. I love them so much. We are so lucky and so thankful. No parent anywhere in the world should have to worry about losing their child in war. Absolutely nobody.

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Kaley and her two best friends at Kaley's Christmas Party this year.

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New Year's Eve in Paris---before Kaley got sick.