I had no idea I’d enjoy today so much.
Today is my husband’s birthday. Today is Remembrance Day. Today is unseasonably warm.
The kids woke up and were excited to wish their Daddy a Happy Birthday! Then when it was time to get ready to go to school, my son became very upset. I realized he thought there was no school because it was a birthday. Makes sense. The kids always have their birthdays during spring break. My last birthday was on a holiday. Last year on my husband’s birthday, we flew to Disney World. So yeah, no wonder he thought he had the day off!
I attended the kids’ school’s Remembrance Day service. This is the first year I’ve gone. I even spiffied myself up because it’s an event that deserves respect. I put mascara on for things like that. I entered the gym and saw this very tall Mountie standing by the wall. Woah! He looked so regal. Then I realized he was the Dad of one of my daughter’s classmates. Standing nearby were several other men and women in uniform, standing with their spouses. Mostly Military. I recognized many from various kid related activiites. My thoughts: Oh, that’s the lady who speed-crochets at swim lessons. I didn’t know her husband was military. Hey, it’s so and so from blast ball. He’s got a lot of medals.
Living in Ottawa, the Nation’s Capital, we have a lot of active duty service personnel. This is a very different experience from how my Remembrance days were spent as a child. I seem to recall that the day was a holiday when I was very young. At some point the rules changed and I would attend school on that day. I think we had assemblies but there were no outside visitors. We would have just talked about the importance of the day. To me, the day was about soldiers from wars that took place when my Grandpa was young. The men selling poppies looked like my Grandpa. The day was more of a history lesson. Such a contrast to today’s assembly. I feel very grateful for being in the presence of people who work so hard and put themselves at such risk, to help keep the peace.
I was about to say my favourite part of the ceremony was when students brought handmade poppy wreaths to the stage. They were creative and lovely. That made me a bit teary-eyed. I think that ties with the song the primary choir sang in English. It was so lovely!
After the ceremony, I saw some other parents I knew. They were about to sort the Lost & Found bin so I offered to help. First, I peeked into my daughter’s classroom. She ran out to give me a quick hug. Then I saw my son’s teacher walk by so I asked her to say hello to my son for me. She invited me to come say hello to him in the classroom. Yes, please! He didn’t see me come in, which was great because it meant I could observe him being himself at school. He was busy laughing and chatting with his classmates as they began to eat their lunch. He opened a container and saw a dill pickle and said “Pickles? AGAIN?” and they all laughed. When he did look over at me he didn’t quite know what to think. So he went back to inspecting the pickle. His teacher asked him to join me for a picture holding a poppy wreath. It took us a few times of repeating the request before he came over. He was really obsessed with eating the pickle. I wonder if he noticed I cut his carrots into poppy shapes? We got a few photos taken and I said goodbye to everyone. I am extremely pleased and relieved he is spending his days in such a great learning environment with a very involved and caring teacher and assistants. He is thriving and I couldn’t be happier!
I returned to the volunteer parents and put on some latex gloves to start sorting the piles of clothing in the Lost & Found. Then after that was done, I went to do a little shopping. I bought my husband some meat for his birthday. I went to the local “FarmBoy” grocery store and approached the clerk at the prepared food section.
Me: Excuse me, could I ask you a question?
Nice counter lady: Yes, what can I help you with today?
Me: I’m vegetarian but my husband isn’t. It is his birthday today and I’d like to buy him some meat…
Lady (raises her eyebrows and holds back a laugh)
Me:… what would you recommend? What do you think is really good here?
Lady: If he wants a lot of meat, I’d get him the chicken and ribs with potatoes. It is a really good value for what you get.
When I got home, I thought everything looked beautiful. The house. The street. The warm weather felt beautiful. I wondered where the heck my good mood came from. I was feeling lucky, grateful, and blessed.
My husband felt grateful when I surprised him with his big plate of meat. He even has leftovers for tomorrow! Ok, he liked his other gifts too.
And now, I am falling asleep at the computer. I’m sure I had other things to say and perhaps a proper ending to this post, but I need to put my head on a pillow. Pronto.