Today is Remembrance Day. I admit its not a holiday that I think about much. Aside from purchasing a poppy and taking a pause at the 11th hour to think about all the men and women who served and continue to serve our country in times of war, its not a holiday that lingers with me and stirs up memories or emotions.
When I was pregnant, I often wondered what kind of a world I was bringing a child into. We hear so often about the bad things in life - the predators, the swindlers, the complexity of living healthily, prosperously, and safely - that the good can be taken for granted. This week, Chloe came home from daycare, proudly waving a hand-drawn poppy, saying "Miss Vittoria said we need to remember the soldiers who fought for our freedom". While I don't think she fully understands what freedom means, her words rang true. I need to appreciate not only my freedom, but also that which she enjoys. We are lucky to live in a country where she can run freely, dream wildly, and play happily. So these days, while my mind turns to holiday crafts and old traditions and all things I can do and effort I can put forward to make Christmas magical for her, I also need to slow down and teach her to look around and show gratitude for this life in the here and now. And when she recites In Flander's Fields, with words she can't appreciate, I need to be thankful that she can't appreciate them, that war and conflict are not part of her vocabulary nor her everyday existence. I am thankful that she is just a kid after all.