it all happened at once

It was unexpected.

We went to our small town’s annual Memorial Day Parade with Eddie.

Eddie loves parades.

It’s not that we weren’t thinking about the meaning of the parade, but when you have a toddler you are mostly thinking of how he will like the drums.

And of course we were watching for Great Grand-dad in the group of WWII vets.

the strapping young man on the left is my paternal grandpa

and just after we waved to Great Grand Dad, it happened.

I wasn’t prepared.

A car of WWII vets drove by.

Eddie waved.

One kind vet saluted my son.

My small, blue-eyed, blond curly headed boy watched intently as the kind-faced vet rolled away in his car.

The crowd continued to stand and clap.

More vets rolled by.

And my thoughts followed my little boy up through school and beyond high school.

It never occurred to me until that moment that my son might choose the military.

Neither Cort’s dad nor mine did.

But Cort’s stepdad, both my grandpas, Cort’s maternal grandpa, and his uncle did.

College was the assumed path for my husband, me, and our siblings.

But what if Eddie chooses to give himself to his country and serve?

My heart started beating with the pride of that possibility.  Of  my son in uniform.

Just then the Gold Star Mothers rode past.

And my heart fell out of my chest.

I realized whatever Eddie chooses, my heart will explode with pride and break with worry.

all at once.

*************

Sluiter Nation would like to thank all the men and women who have chosen to serve the United States of America.

You are so brave.

We honor you.

Happy Memorial Day.

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