Several months ago I had a frazzled day. I had a hundred things to do and no time to do them. A stop at the grocery store was first on my list. With kids in tow, I practically ran through the store shouting warnings in my wake. “Don’t ask for anything not on our list!” “Keep hands to yourself!” “No bickering!” and of course, “STAY WITH ME!”
We hadn’t even made it to the cereal aisle when my then-nine-year-old son suddenly took off down a random aisle. “Ugh!” I shouted as I dragged my daughter with me back through the store. “I so do not have time for this! What did I say a hundred times?” With threats involving a PS3 and the garbage disposal on my tongue, I turned at the aisle my son had darted down, and stopped in my tracks.
At the far end of the aisle, two soldiers dressed in fatigues smiled down at my son. As I watched, my son held out his hand and each soldier took it, shook it, and said, “You’re welcome.”
Suffice it to say, my son’s PS3 was left unharmed.
Our holiday weekend has been packed full of cookouts and races, swimming and fun times with loved ones. But remembering this day with my son, I am reminded that some things are more important than obligations. My family will take a moment of perspective today as we say our prayers in remembrance of those who have died serving our country. We will be sure to include those who still serve, and still put their lives on the line for the rest of us. And in our prayers we will take my son’s lead and be sure to say, “Thank you.”