Memorial Day

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.   

 *courtesy of Wikipedia

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~


Unknown said…
love your memorial post and I like learning new things like the wogs...
Lisa said…
Another neat, heartfelt post. Great pix, too!

I still smack, crack and even swallow my gum. Still have lots of growing up to do too, I guess. :) Not sure if I want to though. :O)
Ella said…
Thank you Lisa(s) ;-D I love to blow big bubbles with my gum and smack it! Every summer I draw with chalk in our door way and play
hopscotch. I don't want to grow up, either...
I hope to be old, someday and be a goofy grannie~
Arlee Bird said…
I was never in the military. My dad was in the Navy during WWII, but he wasn't on the sea much --He said he would get very sick when he was on the ship. He played basketball on the Navy team. They found him to be more valuable doing that which was fortunate for him.

Tossing It Out
A wonderful Memorial post, enjoyed the read.

Natasha said…
Why should a mother not make a sand castle with her son? Next, they will be saying we can't play hopscotch with them!
Good for you that you haven't given up having fun.
Julie@beingRUBY said…
Beautiful post Ellie
I've heard about the polliwogs.. It's important to have ceremony to celebrate events and mark time.. I think this is a great one...

You know the sandbox story is a funny one.. you would think 'Navy wives' would be at home with a bit of water.. haha.. Actually I think your idea was really creative and building a sandcastle is another rite of passage.. into childhood

Lovely post.. and a wonderful way to remember those that fought for their country...

We have a remembrance ode here in australia

'They will not grow old.. as we grow old
Nor the years condemn
At the going down of the sun.. and in the morning
We will remember them' .. Lest We Forget...

xxx Julie
Good on you for sharing that moment with your son!
Ella said…
Alex-I read your Dad was in the military, which branch of service? How many places did you move?( I will post that gift, soon) Thanks!

Julie-I love that," home with a bit of water"...LOL! Thanks for sharing, Julie, that was really beautiful! I agree it is important to have rituals, rites of passage, and ceremonies to mark those occasions! xXx

Rayna-I felt like I was in the Twilight Zone, huh?! Who are you people? Most of the children were under 2. I love seeing kids playing together, but he was the youngest, so I thought let's try this and go on the swing.
The kids came up and checked him out, smiles and waves..all was good. It was the damn parents, that puzzled me.

Yvonne-Thank you..I hope to post your gift soon! Thanks!

Lee-There are a lot of ties to the military, parents, grandparents, etc. My husband was the most unlikely to go in the Navy. He volunteered, so he could make Chief. It worked~ Whatever works, I think it was fortunate for you, as well. You had your Dad in your life~