"Well, first of all, it's MEmorial Day, and secondly, it would be really nice if you talked to some soldiers on Memorial Day," I told him.
I looked around for events, and found all kinds of dedication services at the veterans memorials, but I just didn't think Biscuit would understand that. So when I remembered that a small town about 40 minutes away has an annual parade, I knew we had a plan.
Biscuit has finally reached 40 pounds, which is the weight he needs to be to go from a car seat to a booster seat. That means that he can legally ride in Jeff's Barracuda.
We cheated and took him last summer on a short ride down some back roads near our house. But this was our first big outing.
Jeff took the car out of the garage and dropped the top. Biscuit and I walked out and started to climb in.
"Mom, I want you to sit in back with me," Biscuit said.
So Jeff chauffeured us around all afternoon.
We got to the town and found a parking spot for the car and a sitting spot for us. It was pretty crowded. The parade started, and even though Biscuit said he was excited, he didn't really show it (that's when I want to call him Little Jeff!).
Here are some pictures from the parade:
|There were assorted marching bands.|
|There were veterans groups.|
|There were former soldiers riding in fancy cars.|
|There were Civil War re-enactors.|
|There were military vehicles.|
|There were World War I re-enactors.|
|There were World War II re-enactors.|
After the parade, we were walking back to the car, and Biscuit said, "Mom, I still didn't talk to any soldiers."
So I spied a soldier and told Biscuit to go talk to him.
"What should I say, Mom?" Biscuit asked.
"Just say, 'Thank you for your service,'" I told him.
So Biscuit walked over to the guy (he was wearing a VFW hat), and said, "Excuse me," and waited for the guy to turn around. "Thank you for your service," he said.
The man seemed pleased with what Biscuit said. He smiled and said, "Well thank you for your support and for coming to the parade."
I spotted another soldier and pointed him out to Biscuit.
"Thank you for our service," Biscuit said.
"No, not 'our' service," I said. "Say 'Thank you for YOUR service."
The guy smiled because he knew what Biscuit was trying to say.
I figured we could find one more. So I pointed him out and Biscuit walked over.
"Thank you for your respect," Biscuit said.
"No, 'thank you for your SERVICE,'" I corrected Biscuit.
"But Mom, you said respect," Biscuit said.
"Yes, I did say that we should show respect for their service," I said to Biscuit.
It didn't matter, though, because the man clearly understood what Biscuit was trying to say, and he thanked Biscuit for saying something.
Biscuit had a thousand questions on the way home. Typical for anytime he's had a new experience. Then for the rest of the day, we were all soldiers. I was Air Force. Jeff was Marines. And Biscuit was Army. Poor Navy and Coast Guard were left out.
And Biscuit wasn't a soldier in the Army. He WAS Army.
As soon as we got home, Biscuit ran upstairs to his room. When he came down, he was Army.
"Mom, this is what an Army looks like," Biscuit says. He was wearing his camo dinosaur pajamas, his snow boots and a green hat. Yep, he WAS Army.
And then he saluted me.
I hope today was a lesson that sticks with him.