Jason and I think it VERY important to educate the boys on our country’s history AT HOME. The schools where we are do a good job, but fail to really focus on current events or spend a lot of time discussing National holidays (this is probably due to curriculum guidelines and timeframes where the powers that be dictate the pace of what the teach leaving teachers little room to wiggle). I have been rather disappointed when certain things have not been discussed or mentioned in the classroom. For example, the Joplin tornado. It was HISTORIC. And we used to live just about 50 miles from the devastation. But I believe those events should be discussed in a history classroom or science classroom and so they might remember.
But then it hit me, although it did not change my opinion on current events in school, that I don’t have to wait for the school to teach, I CAN . . . JASON AND I CAN as their parents.
So, this past weekend was full of history and education in the Lederer home. The 10th anniversary of 9/11. It still makes my heart ache. I can still recall the fear that I had that day. I held Jason a little tighter than night, loved on Ethan a little more (then two) and prayed like never before for God to protect our country. The tragedy. Watching those two majestic buildings collapse. Our President’s declaration of war. The resolve of the American people. The heroism of the first responders. The sacrifice of the lives on Flight 93 . . . oh, the countless lives they saved taking over that plane. It was the saddest day in America that I can recall in my lifetime.
And as the specials on television and the media and the conversations surrounding the weekend, the boys began to ask questions. Now, Ryan and Aaron are a bit young. And I struggled with what they should see and how much they should know. But the bottom line is, it is our history. And if I don’t tell them and they hear from somewhere else, they might not trust what I say later when they ask.
So, I got out my laptop and with them hunched all around me, we watched video after video of that fateful day. Questions like, “Why didn’t the tower just fall over on it’s side?” And “Were their kids who had parents die?” And “What did we do to fight back?” And “Were you afraid, Mom?” But my favorite question came from Aaron, “Mom, Did this happen in your lifetime?” I almost giggled, but just said, “Yes, it happened in Ethan’s lifetime. He was two.” The expression on his face, the amazement, the bewilderment. I tried to get him to tell me what he was thinking in that very moment. Almost like he could dismiss it if it wasn’t. I’m sure he remembers Ryan asking the same question about Pearl Harbor when we watched a movie about that several months ago on Memorial Day.
But it was good education. I wanted most to teach them about heroism. American strength. About how blessed we are to live here. And to grow some patriotism within them. And I want them to grow up KNOWING our country’s history, not just passively listening to it.
But Sunday was full of a “healthy” balance of Remembrance and FOOTBALL. We would flip back and forth between 9/11 memorial services and appreciating that the NFL was actually having a season. But we watched both opening ceremonies of the Giants and Jets games. During the Giants, when they were pulling that beautifully spectacular American flag the length and width of the football field and watching NFL players remove their helmets and meaningfully grab a hold of that flag with the respect it deserved, I noticed briefly the camera on a first-responder who could not control his emotions, I am sure recalling that day, and wept uncontrollably. My heart ached for him and thousands of others.
In it all, I felt proud. Proud of my country. Moved by the memorials, such beautiful, respectful places for families to come and grieve and for people like me, not directly effected with the loss of a family member or co-worker, to visit and pay respects to those innocent Americans who died.
So why am I blogging about this on my diabetes blog?
Sunday night, when Jason was putting the boys to bed and praying with them, Ryan set his phone (one that does not have service but will take pics, play sounds and has an alarm) for 6am. Jason reminded him he did not have to get up until 6:15-6:20. He said, “I want to get up and read my Bible every morning.” Jason poking a little bit asked why. Ryan’s response, “Because you never know what will happen.”
And that’s all he said. Jason seems to think that all the 9/11 talk made him think. I immediately asked him if he was scared ready to fly up those stairs and bring him down with me. Jason was sure he was not afraid. Almost the opposite. And he thought he just wanted to be prepared. And in that 7-year-old mind, reading the Bible did that for him.
And this was his third morning to get up at 6am and read.
But I wonder . . . a child that has to deal with a disease, particularly something that is scary or hard or HIGH MAINTENANCE, do they grow up and mature a little quicker than most. We see it happen through circumstances too, like children who lost parents on 9/11 or through tragedy. A child growing up too quickly or quicker than we would like happens for many different reasons. But Ryan was already beyond his years pre-dx. Very mature. Scarily mature. And conscious about everything. Ethan is typically the same, taking on more responsibility than required in certain situations.
But Ryan has acted in a way that gives him comfort in what God has to say about life through Scripture.
Making me proud. Making me take a second look at my life. Where do I go for comfort when the “You never know . . . ” invades me heart, my mind, my spirit or your circumstances?
He goes to The Word. I don’t know how long it will last. I will not pressure or make him continue at seven-years-old . . . but I will encourage and tell him how proud I am and engage and ask if he has any questions and take the opportunity to talk to him about who God is. He will have questions in his life not just about his body and diabetes, but just about life that is hard, doesn’t make sense so much of the time and as he sees and experiences life’s hardships.
How are you preparing for that tragedy or hardship or trial in your life? Are you preparing? Ryan is. And I must be ever reminded to follow in his footsteps.