Disclaimer: This post is not intended to offend any service members or their families. It is in no way a generalization of service people.
I was off yesterday, and the Mister asked me if I wanted to tag along with him. Sounded better than doing dishes and laundry, so I quickly dressed and headed out the door with him. I love days when it's just the two of us, and even if we're doing nothing more than feeding cows and tying up odds and ends, I love tagging along.
Toward the later part of the afternoon we ended up at the shop, and they were swamped. I took my place behind the desk and worked for a little while until things became less crazy. While I was sitting there, an older man sat down and started speaking to me in Chinese.
I gave him the "ah ha ha" smile, and raised my eyebrows, unsure of what the point of his yammering was. He was clearly NOT Chinese AT all, so I didn't know if he thought *I* might be Asian (because my stark white skin is so misleading?) or if he was senile and reliving his war days, or what.
Finally he broke the awkward silence and revealed what he'd said (I can't remember now, it was some kind of phrase like "I don't give a damn" or something). He then proceeded to tell me about how he was a retired Marine and had been all over the world, spoken to all kinds of people, taught younger soldiers how to prepare for life over-seas, and about many of his travels. I listened as I always do when customers feel like chatting, and though he was a little hard to understand, I carried on conversation with him the best I could.
Then he asked me how old I am, and I told him. He called me a 'whipper snapper' and told me about how the younger generation these days has no respect, especially for women. I agreed with him, and we talked some more about racism and bigotry. He then went on to tell me what a rat-hole this area is, and that he would NEVER raise a child here.
I didn't say anything. I'm not going to get into a debate with some old vet.
Then he turned to me and said, "I've been all over the world and done so many wonderful things. What are you doing with your life? You just gonna sit on your can and work an office job?"
And I became greatly offended. In my irritation, I replied, "Yep. That's the plan."
He soon left and I was glad to see him go. Then I began wishing I'd said more. I wished I'd told him that my life was important and that just because I'm not fighting a war or traveling the world doesn't mean I'm worthless.
This little farm life is the happiest I've been in my whole entire life! This community may not be much to some people, but to me it's a close-knit place where people know my name. Chloe has a school where she may not have the newest technology, but she has teachers who have time to focus on her, who know her well and care about who she becomes. She has friends whose parents aren't child molesters or alcoholics. People who live close by and help their neighbors out.
I have a job that allows me to work whenever I want to, to back-talk my boss (hehe), and wear jeans and t-shirts every day. A job that allows me to give mothering my full attention, yet still have some spending money.
I have a home that is cozy and warm, and a husband who provides for his family. I am a wife and I take pride in being a good one. I am a mother and love that job more than anything in the world. I have a daughter who believes that without me in her life there is nothing. She may only be a child, but to her I am the world.
I may not have a big beautiful glamorous life. I may never leave the country or get a job that is considered "important," but the things I do every day are important. They help my family run smoothly. When I die, I may not have medals and badges and the title 'hero' etched on my stone, but I know that I have loved hard and made a difference to the people around me.
And that's enough for me.
Besides. I kinda like sittin' on my can ;)