IN THE CHECKOUT LINE |
October 23, 2006
IN THE CHECKOUT LINE
Name: Kellie Coy
Posting date: 10/23/06
Husband stationed in: Camp Taji, Iraq
Hometown: Marion, Ohio
I'm standing in the checkout line with my eleven-year-old daughter, thankful that the twin ten-year-olds are not with me. I'll have enough questions to answer due to the women in front of us. "I can't believe we're still over there," the bleach blonde says to her friend. "It's not doing any good! We should just get out!"
My daughter, smarter for her age than I wish she was at this moment, knows these two are talking about troops in Iraq. How do I explain that her father's work is not a waste of time? That all the pain we've felt from his absence, all the tears we and others have cried are not in vain? How can I convince her of this when people like these two women are all too often what she and her siblings hear?
Oh, yes, there are those that say, "You tell your Daddy that I said 'Thanks.'" And even a few that recognize the sacrifice the children make, and go as far to tell them "Thank you. I know it must be hard." But those are hard for kids to remember when the negative people speak so loudly. I look down at my daughter and see she's watching for my reaction. This is a crucial moment. A time to teach her a life lesson. So I bite my lip, literally. And I hold back the urge to speak in anger.
After we're settled in the car, she looks at me and asks "Mom, I know you wanted to say something to them, why didn't you?" I look her in the eyes, smile and tell her "Daddy's working in Iraq so that one day the Iraqi people will be able to speak their opinion, like those two ladies, without fear." Then, like most mothers do, I start to go into more of an explanation than is needed, when she interrupts me with..."I know, Mom." And gives me a look of understanding.
Later that night, after the kids are tucked into bed, I'm sitting on the couch thinking. Thinking about the day's events, and what tomorrow will bring. I send up a prayer of thanks that my husband is safer than most, along with a prayer for those who aren't as safe as he.
And I don't forget to thank God for my children, who so completely believe in their father and what he's doing that I don't need to worry so much about what other people say. Because what's in their hearts is a blind love and belief that only a child can have.
A life lesson was taught that day, but I believe I was the student.