Archive for January, 2009

Published by sylvia on 29 Jan 2009

Civilian to military

Earlier this week, my son officially joined the Wyoming Army National Guard. The months leading up to his enlistment have had me thinking about the relationship we civilians have with the military.

I was a teenager during Viet Nam. I saw my male friends suffering the anxiety of waiting for the lottery to reveal their likelihood of being drafted. I had friends who were veterans of Nam, and in the 70’s I could always tell who had been there within minutes of meeting: there was a certain look in their eyes.

What I thought was most unfair was the attitude of the peaceniks towards the soldiers, taunting and tormenting them. At best, they felt they were serving their country; at worst, they were draftees and given no choice as to where they were sent. Yet the peaceniks ganged up on victims who weren’t allowed to retaliate. Didn’t look particularly courageous to me.

Now we are once again in an unpopular war, but this time, no one is blaming the soldiers. I think this is a huge improvement and much more just. If you want to criticize the war, criticize the politicians who ordered it; if you want to justify the war, again, the politicians are the proper target. The men and women who lay their lives on the line deserve only our support.

I’ve been very proud of our armed forces since the Clinton maladministration. In nearly every other country in the world, if someone managed to get elected who the military didn’t like, presto! Military coup and the elected leader is gone or dead. Clinton was a lying hornswoggler, but he was the elected President and our military fulfilled their oath to support and defend him as their Commander-in-Chief. That can’t have been easy, but we civilians rest easier knowing our military abides by their rules.

Now, I’m just relieved that my son won’t have to face the hatred my friends did.

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Published by sylvia on 06 Jan 2009

The good mother

Is it love to make a child dependent on you? I don’t think so.

I’ve been reading The Good, the Bad, and the Mad by E. Randall Floyd. It’s definitely an interesting collection of short biographies of unusual people, but the entry on Robert E. Howard horrified me. He was an SF writer in the early 1900’s who committed suicide when his mother died. Supposedly, his mother had encouraged an exclusive attachment after his father died.

DH and I have always agreed that our purpose as parents was to produce independent adults who could live their own lives and make their own decisions. To ensure they developed self-confidence, we provided a solid wall of love and support – either child could have cuddling for the asking so they didn’t have to misbehave to get parental attention. As they got older, I asked if they wanted me in the room for dentist and doctor visits and other scary situations. When they were ready, they tackled each new situation solo. DD is still pretty shy but can handle what she wants to, and 17-year-old DS thinks he is already an adult and very indignant that legally we still control him.

I miss my sweet, loving babies. But I would consider myself a failure as a mother if either of them gave up on life when I pass on.

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