Honoring Memorial Day and My Son, Deployed

Lincoln Memorial, Washington D.C.
Lincoln Memorial, Washington D.C.
Lincoln Memorial
Lincoln Memorial

Progression of Time and Career

I am re-posting this Memorial Day post with an addition–an amazing photo! It’s my 1st Lieutenant son’s United States Army Infantry platoon. They are deployed to the Middle East, and we are anxious to find out when they will return.

Re-post:

In 2005, my brother took my almost twelve-year old son to Washington D.C.  I came across these photos of their day together and thought they were a fitting send-off to my son who is in the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) for the United Stated Army while he studies at a university.

He’s leaving today for mountaineering training in a country very far from home.  I could say how anxious I am about this trip, how world events and politics are sad and disheartening, how I get nauseous thinking about his future, and how much I love him and want him safe and happy.  Instead I’ll  leave you with these photographs.

the Capital
United States Capitol
Washington Monument
Washington Monument
Vietnam Veterans Memorial Statue
Vietnam Veterans Memorial Statue
military helicopter
Military helicopter
Almost twelve-years old.
Almost twelve-years old
high altitude rescue training
High altitude rescue training
contracted
Contracted.
My son with proud dad and sister.
Proud dad and sister at an Army function.

And now, for the amazing photo…

United States Army Infantry Platoon.

Memorial Day 2015

Lincoln Memorial, Washington D.C.
Lincoln Memorial, Washington D.C.
Lincoln Memorial
Lincoln Memorial

Memorial Day 2015

This is a post from 2013 with a few additions.

IMG_7423

One of the 9/11 Memorial Reflecting Pools in Manhattan.
One of the 9/11 Memorial Reflecting Pools in Manhattan. 

In 2005, my brother took my almost twelve-year old son to Washington D.C.  I came across these photos of their day together.  My son is in the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) for the United Stated Army while he studies at a university.

the Capital
United States Capitol
Washington Monument
Washington Monument
Vietnam Veterans Memorial Statue
Vietnam Veterans Memorial Statue
military helicopter
military helicopter
My son with proud dad and sister.
Proud dad and sister at an Army function.
Me and my son.
2015:  Me and my son.

9/11: Horror and Homework

Liberty State Park, NJ
Liberty State Park, NJ
Liberation Monument by Natan Rappaport
Liberation Monument by Natan Rappaport, Liberty State Park, NJ

My daughter came home with an assignment to interview a parent about 9/11.

Anyone not comfortable with the assignment could pass.  Lucky for me that, although the subject gives me a lump in my throat and makes my heart race, I didn’t have to pass.

I give my daughter’s middle school teacher credit for opening up a discussion on a touchy subject and allowing her to turn over in her mind what happened right here

in the city where her father worked,

where her aunt witnessed the horror as it happened,

where her sisters’ friend’s father was killed,

where her yoga teacher’s brother-in-law was killed,

where a neighbor’s husband was killed,

where longtime customers of the store her mother worked at shopped for funeral clothes,

and what the catalyst was that created a desire in her 7 year-old brother to join the Army,

when she was only 3 months old, new to the world, and her mother wondered how she would raise a baby with so much hatred in the world, and her mother worried that life as she knew it might never be the same.

Some of the teacher’s thought-provoking questions are:

1.  Why do you think the terrorists chose the World Trade Center?

2.  If it were up to you, would you have the towers rebuilt?

3.  Have the events that took place on 9/11 changed your life?  How so?

4.  During the months immediately following the attacks, a lot of people sported American flags on their cars, t-shirts and houses.  Why do you think that it takes an act of terrorism to bring a country together?  Why aren’t we united and patriotic like this all of the time?

I’d love to hear your answers to any or all of the questions.

Flag of Honor
Flag of Honor

IMG_1587

My son and me at an ROTC dinner.
My son and me at an ROTC dinner.
Proud Dad and sister flank our Army cadet.
Proud Dad and sister flank our Army cadet.

Honoring Memorial Day and My Son

Lincoln Memorial, Washington D.C.
Lincoln Memorial, Washington D.C.
Lincoln Memorial
Lincoln Memorial

In 2005, my brother took my almost twelve-year old son to Washington D.C.  I came across these photos of their day together and thought they were a fitting send-off to my son who is in the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) for the United Stated Army while he studies at a university.

He’s leaving today for mountaineering training in a country very far from home.  I could say how anxious I am about this trip, how world events and politics are sad and disheartening, how I get nauseous thinking about his future, and how much I love him and want him safe and happy.  Instead I’ll  leave you with these photographs.

the Capital
United States Capitol
Washington Monument
Washington Monument
Vietnam Veterans Memorial Statue
Vietnam Veterans Memorial Statue
military helicopter
military helicopter
Almost twelve-years old.
almost twelve-years old
high altitude rescue training
high altitude rescue training
contracted
Contracted.
My son with proud dad and sister.
Proud dad and sister at an Army function.

Mother’s Day Moment

Hon, please indulge me. It doesn’t have to be Mother’s Day for me to say how grateful I am to be a mom, how proud I am of my kids or how much I love them.  But, what I want to do today is spend time with all of them so this post is the prologue to the story of the last 18 1/2 year of my life.

(I can’t take credit for all of the photos. Some are mine and some aren’t.)

Baby A's tiny hand in mine.
Baby A’s tiny hand in mine. This was the first day I was allowed to hold her. She was 10 days.

Baby A was only 2 pounds 9 ounces at birth and stayed in the NICU for 6 1/2 weeks. Despite being tiny, she could breath on her own (the tube in her nose above is a Gavage feeding tube). The nurses said she screamed loudly and a lot, which demonstrated how developed her lungs were. One nurse took to carrying her around on her shoulder to calm her down. As I scrubbed up before entering the NICU to take my smallest triplet home, one of the nurses, referring to my baby, said, “When is that mother going to get here already?” The mother bear in me came out when I answered, “I’m here!”

Baby A at 3 1/2.
At 3 1/2.
Baby A is the teenager with red hair.
As a counselor at a sleep-away camp.  Here she is with some of her campers.

Proud mama (and papa) moving our firstborn into her dorm room for freshman year.

Baby A starting freshman year of college.
Starting freshman year of college.

 

Baby B swaddled and sleepy.
Baby B swaddled and sleeping. He was small but healthy.

Baby B was the largest triplet at 4 pounds, 12 ounces. In the NICU he was considered a “feeder and grower” and was able to come home after 10 days.  His colic lasted until he was 6 months. In an effort to deal with the colic, we switched to a non-dairy formula causing him to smell like a potato! He was such an affectionate baby, he’s meld into my body when I rocked him. As a toddler, he was the ringleader of the games “Let’s Smear Our Room In Vaseline,” “Let’s Step In the Diaper Rash Ointment,” and “Let’s Shred All Of The Audio Tapes Our Parents Made Of Our First Words!”

"Growl, I'm a tiger!"
“Growl, I’m a tiger!”  At his 4th birthday party.
Baby B on move in day,
On move in day of freshman year at a university.

Proud mama (and papa) attending an ROTC Army event at our son’s university and seeing him in his dress blues.

Dress blues.
Dress blues.

 

Baby C in her isolette.
Baby C in her Isolette.  The nurses said her beauty “glowed” from the inside out.

Baby C, 4 pounds 4 ounces at birth, was allowed to come home after 12 days.  She had no problem sharing a bassinet with her brother and the two of them would contentedly stare at each other. But when Baby A came home from the hospital and I laid her down next to her sister, Baby C howled with displeasure as if to say, “Who is this baby and what is doing here?  I had to either lay them head to toe or put my son in the middle.  Hon, I am here to tell you that birth order dynamics are thrown to the wind when it comes to multiples. Baby C established herself as the “oldest” (that’s a euphemism for bossiest) even if she was born third.  She had the world’s best belly laugh and, if I could have bottled it, I’d be writing my books on an island in the Caribbean right now!

Pony ride at 3 3/4.
Pony ride at 3 3/4.
Bed's made up and saying goodbye start of freshman year of college.
Bed’s made up and saying goodbye start of freshman year of college.

Proud Mama (and Papa) have known our daughter was artistic since she was 3 years old.  Her self portrait is stunning!

Self portrait, oil paints.
Self portrait our daughter painted of herself with with acrylic paints.

 

Our Plus One the day after she was born.
Our Plus One the day after she was born. She was happy and calm right from the start.

Hon, do you know what was strange about holding an 8 pounds 6 ounce newborn? She was the same size as our triplets were when they were able to sit up! Our Plus One was an easy, go-with-the-flow child who was happiest when she was surrounded by her family. Many people have asked if she was accident, to which I replied, “No, she was very planned!” More people have said, “Wow, that’s a lot of kids” to which I replied, “Four was always my lucky number.”  And countless people have said, “You had triplets and then another one?!” to which I replied, “She’s G-d’s gift to me!”

Our fourth as a toddler.
Our fourth as a toddler.
No fear on the trapeze.
No fear on the trapeze.
Leaping at ballet class.
Leaping at ballet class.

Proud Mama (and Papa) shed tears at our youngest’s “Moving Up” ceremony, but still celebrated the start of a new chapter in her life.

"Moving Up" from elementary to middle school.
“Moving Up” from elementary to middle school.