We are reminded today to remember those that died fighting for our freedom; We honor the men and women that made the ultimate sacrifice for our country! It has become a tradition to also remember those we have loved and lost. We put out flags for those who served and flowers on gravestones of our loved ones. We have parades, bbq's and picnics as the the onset of summer. One thing I have learned, being a Navy spouse, is the military knows when they need down time, time out, a morale boost. They work hard, they go into dangerous situations, they see and do things, we can't imagine, but they also know they need to laugh, be carefree. It is a coping mechanism for survival. Don't we hear all the time, we need to play, release our inner child, have down time, do something to release our stress. The Navy knows how to do this and they make and take the time, when possible. I know other branches of service, do this as well.
I remember when my son, was about a 10-11 months old; We went to the playground, we lived in base housing. The typical swing set, slide, and sandbox. I spoke to all the Mother's lined up on the park bench; then proceeded to take my son to the sandbox. I had a large bottle of water, a pile and shovel. I wanted to share the magic of making a sand castle, with him. He talked early, said sentences at 17 months, I do remember getting sand in my hair, oh, well. One of the young Moms approached me, laughing, "What do you think you are doing?". She had this weird smirk on her face.
I said, "We are making a sand castle", she looked at me like I was an alien from another planet. I was not a young Mom. I was 27, when I had him; they were 17-20 in age. I wanted to see his face and be part of the magic of watching him make it, we marked it with a B, sang pat-a-cake and then destroyed it! We lose this
carefree, let loose, be fearless mentality, as we age, not all of us, but most of us! We grow up, we don't
smack gum, jump in puddles, skip, and blow bubbles in our chocolate milk, anymore. We are grown up! I felt when my kids were born, I was give a free pass, again. A pass to enjoy them and share in the magic of their moments.
The Navy has a ceremony, when they cross the equator. Before you cross you are the scum of the ocean a polliwog, once you cross you have to perform certain tasks to be a shell back. The ceremony is called WOG. I am sure in the past there were incidents of hazing. I know when my husband did this, there were not. It is about King Neptune and Davy Jones locker(where all the dead people at sea go) the poliWOGS have to do certain things, walk like a duck, holler for Flipper, blow water out of these holes, etc. They are pirates and then they have to kiss the royal baby's belly for King Neptune(the Commander is dressed up, wearing a mop on his head). Once the initiation is over they are now worth shell backs. If you watch the videos, you will see it is all in fun, now! My husband said it is voluntary, guess it wasn't back in the day. I just wanted you to see the crazy, fun side of the military; They know to be the best they can be, they have to release their inner child! I still have polliwog moments, hope you do, too~