Seven years ago, Nate was conceived, in glass, Memorial Day. Not exactly a romantic tale, though someday I think I might embrace it as such, just maybe. It's that type of articulation that makes Shaun slightly crazy, or makes him think I am.
This Memorial Day, I thought of that and also my father's words about the children of today. About how they are learning to be kind and green and oh so politically correct; but are they learning loyalty, honor and love of country?
I think they can learn all of those things, but some take a little more time to manifest. My six year old can argue with me till the cows come home about how he must unplug my computer and let it run on battery, because otherwise the polar bears will surely be extinct by next week. But, I'm not sure he gets it when the occasional tear escapes my eye during most any rendition of our national anthem.
Every Memorial Day, one of the more industrious real estate agents in our area stakes medium sized plastic American flags throughout the neighborhood in the corner of every yard where the driveway meets the sidewalk. Nate checked and rechecked who exactly celebrates Memorial Day, actually he checked and rechecked exactly what countries don't recognize it, which made for an extraordinarily long day. When he was satisfied, he modified the multi-flag flagpole he made last year to include only the appropriate entities, and then stuck it in the front yard to accompany the other. The child can't remember to put his bike in the garage when he's done with it, but was most diligent about bringing his flag in each evening to protect it from ruin in the dew of the night.
We were walking Cooper and discussing the meaning of the day along with many of the freedoms we enjoy as the result of other people's dedication, their ultimate sacrifice, when Nate announced that he was glad not to be celebrating Grandpa on this holiday. Sentimental and smart, just like his Papa.
Later, he secured several precarious flags in miscellaneous yards and I lectured him on the perils of running into the street. Nonchalantly, he joined me back on the sidewalk and said "Well, if I get smooshed, there could be a holiday called 'Nathaniel Day'.
Funny too, both of 'em.