I Will Never Know

I will never know what it is like to stand on a sandy beach with my heart in my throat...

Shells exploding overhead...

Sand flying in my face and in my mouth...

Voices shouting orders...some crying out in agony.

I will never know what it is like to run toward an enemy with sights trained on me...

Fear somewhere in the back of my mind...

Survival my only thought.

I will never know what it is like to kill a man...

To raise a rifle...

To pull the trigger...

To watch a stranger turn lifeless before my eyes.

I will never know what it is like to kneel beside a wounded comrade...

To hold their head in my hands and pray for them.

I will never know what it is like to watch the light fade from their eyes...

Or know what it is like to pick up my weapon and leave them behind to continue to fight...

To continue to soldier on...

To continue to try to survive.

I will never know what it is like to be a veteran, but I will always know what it is like to honor them.


Spiderman and His Ah-Mazing Sister

Me: What is the most amazing thing you?
Lucy: I go to Conner Prairie.
Me. No, I mean...what makes you special...cool?
Lucy: Oh, I put cool things on...like, you know, cool dresses and cool pants and cool shirts and cool gloves.
Me: And that's what makes you amazing?
Lucy: (smirking) Hmmm huh.
Teddy: As me!!!
Me: Teddy, what makes you amazing?
Teddy: I'm the REEEEAAAALLLL Spiderman! See! (He shoots imaginary webs at me) Like that! (He presses his hands against the wall) I can stick. (He commences to shooting us all with webs) Pssssss!

Me: When you feel sad, what cheers you up?
Lucy: I just go away from Bubby if he makes me feel sad.
Me: But what else cheers you up?
Lucy: Playing with bubby at the park.
Me: I don't think you understand this question.
Lucy: I do.
Me: Well...I get cheered up when...what cheers mommy up?
Lucy: Um, I think...hugging her.
Me: Chinese food. That's what I think.
Lucy: How do you know?
Me: Teddy? What cheers you up when you're sad?
Teddy: Chinese food.

Me: Do you have a boyfriend, Lucy?
Lucy: (shocked) No! I don't. My only boyfriend is Bubba...my baby brother. I don't have a real boyfriend. That would be silly.
Me: What is a boyfriend?
Lucy: It's a girl makes a boy a boyfriend...then they are friends...he's her boyfriend.
Me: That's it? They're not in love?
Lucy: They ARE in love!

Me: What does it mean to get married?
Lucy: I don't know, mama.
Me: Are mommy and daddy married?
Lucy: Yeah.
Me: What's that mean?
Lucy: You guys keep being married...even on your day off.
Me: (Perplexed)

Lucy walked out of the room and didn't come back. She said she was through with questions. Teddy was busy shooting things with webs anyway...trying not to pee his pants while he waited for the bathroom to become available. I'm certain that if I could see through his eyes, everything in the house would be covered in webs...including the monsterous bad guys that are only visible to him. Somewhere else in the house, Lucy is singing to herself...more than likely a song about how daddy will cheer mommy up with Chinese food....as she colors on one more page that will end up pinned haphazardly on the refrigerator door.

I'm sure there are 'big' things happening in the world today. Presidents and world leaders are pumping coffee in their veins as they try to wage war or make peace. Business men are sealing deals of a lifetime. Doctors are saving lives and watching others end. My mom is somewhere out there in a very important meeting...stressed, more than likely. The kids' dad is off to work with his newly pink faux-hawk...

And, yet, here I am sitting atop Lucy's bunk bed...coffee mug on my lap...train tracks all around me...imaginary webs tangled in my hair...and somehow, I think I just might have the best outlook on this world from my perch of pink, stuffed bunnies and Tinker Bell blankets.


PS: Teddy got tired of waiting for the bathroom to become available, so he went and got a cup. Yeah. THAT just happened. With the wet pants crisis avoided, regular programing of web-slinging has begun once again.

All Important Answers To All Important Questions

1. What is Occupy Wall Street?

I don't know. Um...I think it's where some people live and their dads are the workers...so they built some houses.

2. Where did the dinosaurs go?

They are dead. That means that their skin is gone...which means a paleontologist goes and digs them up and brings them to the kid's museum.

3. What does love feel like?

Love feels like when I love someone. It hurts when it comes on me.

4. Where does the sun go at bedtime?

It goes all up in space. We can't see it because it up up up up in the sky. We can't feel the earth moving around the sun. Only the planets move, and we live on the planet named earth.

5. How do doctors make us all better?

By healing us...by making us better. They take care of us...and they don't kill us. That means they are nice to us and it makes us feel better. (After a few seconds) I need to go to the doctor. I have a very bad cold.

6. What's the best movie in all the world?

Captain America and Snow White...and Princess Rose.

7. What is the United States?

I don't know. I don't think...I know. I just can't remember this one.

8. What makes rainbows appear?

The rain and the sun. After the rain comes, the sun comes out and that makes a beautiful rainbow come out.

9. At what age is a person an adult? Why do you think so?

Six Hundred, because I think that's old...like you, mommy.

10. If you could change one rule that our family has, what would it be?

I really don't like to dry my hair with the hair dryer.

11. What makes our family special?

Giving presents that they want. But if you get a present you don't want, you don't be bad about it...you just want it. (I'm not sure this is what makes us special, but it is a conversation we talked about recently)

12. Are you a good friend? Why do you think so?

Yes, because I be nice to other people. I don't be mean.

13. What is the hardest thing about being a kid?

When we be bad. I just can't stop being bad...because it is so hard not to be bad...like when Bubby takes my toys.

14. If you could give a present to every child in the world, what would it be?

A barbie with a swimming pool that has real water in it. And the barbie would have a puppy that could swim in the water.

15. What would be the hardest thing about being blind?

When our eyes are closed, I would bump into things...like the wall. Because it would hurt, I would cry without tears.

16. If you could be invisible for a day, what would you do?

It would be like I am God. You would walk somewhere and go right through me. I would be sad because you wouldn't be able to see me...and I wouldn't be able to see me. And I wonder if I would bump into things...like I am blind. I would give you a hug and you wouldn't know it is me.

17. Where would be the best place in the world to live?

Florida. There are real princess there, because that's where princess live. I would just like to visit there.

18. Would you rather be, a dog or a cat?

A cat...I mean, a dog. I mean, I'd like to be both because I could run around all day. If I was a cat, I'd stay inside where the dog can't get me. If I were a dog, I would lick my paws to keep them clean.

19. What will you do best when you are a mommy--even better than your own mommy?

I will take better pictures.

20. What is the worst thing that mommy and daddy do?

Going to work but dropping me off at someone's house that I don't know. (Me: We've NEVER dropped you off at someone's house you don't know!!!) Yeah...but that might be something you will do to me sometime.