Thursday, January 14, 2010

What if that were my child?

Last night while feeding little c in his highchair, I turned on the evening news to see what was going on in the world. There was Diane Sawyer, in Afghanistan, reporting that the surge of 30,000 more troops was about to begin. Then the they flashed to young men and women (but there were primarily young men) assembling on a military base, literally about to go into harms way. I say "young men" but they really weren't. They were just boys.

As a daughter of a retired Naval officer, I have a certain love and respect for the military. I know these boys are well trained for their mission, but I still can't help but be taken a back by their baby faces.

Diane began to interview the head commander over there and pointed out that with the upcoming surge, the casualties would increase dramatically. He reluctantly agreed that difficult months lie head.

Then they showed a marine battalion running through hills of this far away land. The backdrop is actually very beautiful. In any other circumstance, you'd feel happy that these kids get to explore in a land as beautiful as that. The only problem is they are being shot at.

Before I knew it tears were streaming down my face. My little man looked at me funny as I tried to mile. "Momma's just being silly" I said. But really, I was restraining myself from just crying my eyes out. Because it strikes me that every one of those 30,000 "kids" about to run through the hills of Afghanistan, with the potential to be shot at, has a mother. Each one of those boys is somebody's little man. My heart aches for those mothers. Will I ever be able to watch the news again without thinking, "what if that were my child?"

I momentarily pictured my little man grown up a bit and running through those mountains, gun on his back, ready to fight and then, the only logical next scene came to me. I pictured myself hopping on a plane and running across the mountains of Afghanistan, probably still in my mom jeans and unbrushed hair, to make sure he's safe. I can't help it. In fact, I'm sure that there are many mothers who have babies fighting over there and are tempted to do the same thing (picturing hoards of mothers running across Afghan fields to scoop up their boys and the boys saying, "moooommm, what are you doing here?").

God Bless them.

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