I decided to take Veterans Day off work to spend the day with my girls and take Pumpkin to the East Valley Veterans Day Parade in Mesa.
My mom’s dad served in the Navy, and so did my stepdad (before he met my mom). We grew up with an appreciation of our military and pride in our country. Now, I may not always agree with the decisions of our government officials, but I have the utmost respect for our servicemen and women and their families and the sacrifices they make for our country. (And, honestly, having kids has only deepened that appreciation. I can’t imagine what it would be like for Mr. G to be away from home for months at a time, or for me to be away from him and the girls.)
I’ve lived in Monterey, Calif., and Yuma, Ariz., where there is a heavy military presence. I also have good friends in the service. But not being a part of her every day life, I’m not sure how much my kids are aware of it. I thought taking Pumpkin to the parade would be a good way to introduce this idea to her. The day before, we had a pretty funny exchange when she asked me why Wednesday was a holiday. I told her it was to thank the military for everything they do to keep our country safe, like how the police keep our city safe. She thought about this for a second and asked, “Do they keep the bees away?” (Then, before bed on Wednesday, she asked our dogs if they’d had a good Veterans Day. She’s too cute!)
Pumpkin’s friend from down the street joined us for the parade. It was a little long for a pair of 4-year-olds, but they enjoyed it. As for me, there were some emotional moments – especially when some of the kids stepped out of their place in the parade the shake the hand of a Veteran and thank them for their service. Check out the slideshow below for more pictures!
Following the parade, the girls also had fun with the statues and street art in downtown Mesa, and requested I take their photo just about every 5 steps. All in all, a good day.