They sent Raccoon Patrol to war


What a quiet morning. Normally I don’t like Monday mornings too much. They’re Monday mornings.

On my Mondays I have the morning carpool to middle school, the always borderline-impossible task of wrenching my reluctant eight-year-old out of bed, a scurry of lunch-making and permission slip signing and where’s-my-[flute homework violin shoes socks lunch phone]. I am grateful when the early wobble of the week rights itself and we settle in; Monday afternoon is gentler.

But this Monday morning is quiet. The dog is toggling between staring outside (invisible rabbits again) and snuggling in to his nest-like bed. I threaten to drink a second Rachelcano, the don’t-tell-the-purists watered-down espressos with milk I make with hubby’s deluxe espresso machine. I read news articles. Comment on a cat video. Notice the apricots on our backyard tree are ripening. No one but me and the dog is up as we reach 9:00am. It’s cloudy. Slow. But then I read a friend’s tribute to his PE teacher from years ago, who went off to Vietnam and never came back. I think of my little boy, not so little anymore, who still falls asleep with full baby force, his closed eyes revealing the long eyelashes he sprouted as a baby. I love the sight of him in his sweet Boy Scout uniform, looking all tucked in and darling, patches revealing his status as the Assistant Patrol Leader of Raccoon Patrol, a post he takes seriously. I think of the “oh hey good job buddy” I gave him when he got that little gig.

So then I must think of the moms. The moms who, I am certain, also enjoyed the sight of their baby sons in uniform, looking all tucked in and darling, but in uniforms of a different sort: the battalions and regiments and companies not that far removed from the days of sweet baby Raccoon Patrol. Those moms sent Raccoon Patrol away, to the Great War, to fight the communists in jungle Asia, for Iraqi Freedom. With prayers mouthed: keep him safe. Bring him home. On this Memorial Day I thank and remember all those moms for their service to the nation, for their sons and their daughters to whom they said uncertain farewells, for the brave steps taken onto aircraft and tanks, for that courage. Because I enjoy common ease, a quiet Monday in which my immediate cares are simple, in which I lament only the crows that nab the apricots every spring. For the heart-swell of the moms and their babies and the great prices paid thousands after thousands of times, you have my gratitude this Memorial Day.


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