Sunday, July 1, 2007


We live in one of those neighborhoods where miniature flags show up on all the lawns at the beginning of July. And while part of me objects to the forced patriotism that those flags represent, for the past two years Sam has been really excited by them.

Last year they mostly posed a threat to the family's well-being in that Sam and Jack waved them around haphazardly, pointy ends flying everywhere. It seems to be somewhat of a miracle that we made it through patriot-season with all our eyes intact.

This year, Sam is really into soldiers, and clearly associates them with flags. When he saw ours on the lawn this morning, his eyes lit up as he yelled, "A flag! I bet the soldiers brought them!" I find that mental image amusing: soldiers in camouflage canvassing the neighborhoods to make sure everyone has a flag in their yard. Although, honestly, I'd rather they do that than most anything else they're up to these days.

The plight of our soldiers is utmost in my mind as Sam seems to really want to be one when he grows up, albeit not for the noble reasons one might hope. Here's what he said a couple months ago to first let me know that he wanted to be one: "You know what I want to be when I grow up? A soldier. Can I use a gun then? Because most soldiers in America use guns. Can I?"

At this point, imagine my skin crawling.

Then, about a month ago, he upped the ante by saying, "When I grow up, I want to be a soldier so I can be in a tank."

Now he mostly just ambushes them when he sees them in malls and airports. Although he's too intimidated to go up to speak to most of them.

I'm not completely opposed to the military. And I'm not at all opposed to soldiers as people. (Mostly I just want all of them to be safe and to not have to kill anyone.) In fact, I'm the daughter and niece of two marines, and grew up sort of idolizing the Marine Persona. But even setting aside the fact that I don't love Sam's weapon-worship, I AM opposed to my tiny son going to war. Even when he's not so tiny. So I'm hoping that by the time he gets to enlistment age he decides he wants be a veterinarian or a surfer or, hell, even a lawyer. Just anything that keeps him (mostly) out of harm's way.

Don't they look American?

1 comment:

Thanks for commenting! May you be visited by unicorns and kittens.