Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Stealin' a Peek

Our new home in Germany is equipped with a kitchen window to die for:

And it just happens to overlook the neighborhood playground.  While doing dishes this afternoon I glanced outside to see the most wonderful sight, a little girl and her daddy playing on the swings.  But this wasn't just any little girl.  You see, my next-door neighbor's husband (well, I guess technically he's my neighbor, too...but he wasn't here when I moved in so...well get what I mean) had been deployed for the last 12 months.  And he came home today.  My neighbor has been a flurry of activity for the past couple of days as she has worked hard to make his homecoming special.  And the little girl out my window, well...that was her 4-year-old daughter, swinging with her daddy...who just came home from war.  So I picked up my coffee cup and watched out the window, hoping not to be noticed, but enjoying the sweetness of the moment.  A princess and her knight in camo armor, swinging in the park.  I don't have a picture of it, but I think taking a picture of it would have somehow stolen the intimacy of the moment for them.  I felt bad (if only just a little bit) for even stealin' a peek.  But I just couldn't help myself.

Monday, May 2, 2011

I am standing on the 50 yard line...

It took almost ten years, but He. Is. Dead.  Osama bin Laden met the same fate as so many of his victims.  Like Mr. Smartypants likes to say: "Keep runnin'.  You'll only die tired."  Well, this weekend, bin Laden died tired.  But the game isn't over.  That wasn't the Hail Mary pass that won the game.  It might be the touchdown that pushes us to a win, but there is still time on the clock.  The enemy is still on the field.  We can't celebrate yet.  It's not over.
For the last 10 years, I have sat in the bleachers and watched the game.  For the last six years, I have sat on the front row, right at the 50 yard line.  It has been a nail-biter, I promise.  Every newscast is carefully listened to in our house.  Every move our government makes affects us.  My husband is in the game and he doesn't sit on the bench.  There have been men down on the field that won't be rejoining the game.  Their teammates won't forget about them and play all that much harder in their absence.  There have been touchdowns: the fall of Baghdad at the beginning of Operation Iraqi Freedom, the fall of the Taliban.  There have been times we thought we might have blown it: Abu Graib, the Korangal Valley.  But here we are, still in the game, still fighting to win. 
Many Americans watch from the comfort of their living rooms, content to be a Monday morning quarterback.  Some come and sit in the stands to watch because the players on the field make it personal for them.  Still others of us stand on the sideline right at the 50 yard line where it's almost too close for comfort.  But we do it, because for us, the game is personal.  That uniform out there, well, under it is the man we love.  So we beg of you, just because we scored another touchdown, doesn't mean the game is over.  Don't pack up your bleacher cushions, or get up from your armchairs.  It's always the last part of the game that your team needs the most support.  Don't forget that the game isn't over. They still need to hear you cheer.  I'll be cheering.  Join me.   I'm the one standing on the 50 yard line....