Saturday, August 18, 2007
Vietnam veterans are still struggling and I wonder what demons our soldiers of today will have to battle.
My father was in Vietnam during the Tet Offensive in '68 and has only spoken of his horrific experiences a handful of times. When I was a young boy there were nights when I was rustled out of bed by the screams of my father as he was reliving his time in Vietnam during his sleep.
Despite the fact that decades have past he has learned to deal with those demons in his own way and even though I served in the Marine Corps, I still know to not ask. He seems to get along just fine these days but I am sure those demons creep out of the depths in which they are buried from time to time.
Today, a friend of mine opened the flood gates about his demons that he has had to live with from Vietnam. It is so hard for me to comprehend what it must have been like to live through so much death. These stories he told were not scenes from a movie or snippets from a news report; these were stories that my buddy experienced first hand.
We forget, well, I forget that there are men and women in the trenches right now at this moment as I am laying back on a comfortable couch in the safety of my home, while my younger children are tucked into their beds, and my older son is playing video games. I don't want to forget but at the same time I have turned a numb ear to much of what the media has to say about our war on terror.
I live my life as if there is no war going on at all but the reality of it is much different, there is a war going on and I must remind myself of this fact.
I wonder what life would be like if the war on terror was being fought in the streets where I live? I wonder how I would react if foreign soldiers marched around my neighborhood? For all the challenges and problems our country is involved in I am still so thankful to be living in America and to call myself an American.
I am so thankful I have not experienced the horrors of war but there are many who have. I hope and pray that our service men and women who are fighting the war on terror will have a speedy return back to their loved ones and be able to live their lives in peace without the challenges of any war demons.
Posted by John Howell at 8:06 PM
Sunday, August 12, 2007
Adding to favorites
Today was just a spectacular day with my kids. Imagine if you will ~ 85 degrees, bright blue skies with cotton candy clouds, a colorfully landscaped courtyard, and the relentless energy of children as they dance in the cold chlorinated water of a 30 foot fountain. The slip preventative cushion floor was a perfect circle about 50 feet in diameter with the geyser directly in the center spouting welcomed water.
My son, who is 3 asks, "Daddy, can I share my toys with the other kids?"
"Absolutely, son. I think that's a great idea," I said with a cool smile.
I am blown back each day with the pure sincerity of my children. My daughter, 14 months, has perfected what I call the monkey walk, and endlessly watches the other children as they skip around the fountain. While standing in the shallow water she bends over to wet her hair and then smiles with an accompanying scream when she finds her brother running by while looking upside down. A moment I wish I had on camera.
Time is moving too fast. I can remember being a young child and it seemed just the opposite; hot endless summers. Can we just hit the pause button? Can we even just slow this ride down a bit? I would like nothing more than to hold my kids while I can and etch that feeling deep into my soul.
This summer seems to be coming to a rapid end and I never really accomplished any of my professional goals. For a while I was bothered with this but before I know it I will be back in the trenches again with my students fighting the good fight. For now, I am wrapping my arms around my kids and can't wait for the next giggle, butterfly kiss, or, "Daddy, will you pick me up?"
Being a parent is such an honor and I am so thankful for the gift. I only hope that I am doing it right.
Posted by John Howell at 7:46 PM
Thursday, August 02, 2007
Summer is here and the time is right for "___________________"
you can fill in the blank as you see fit
There isn't much dancin' in the streets going on here. I have been very busy working my "part time" summer job and haven't had much time to write anything of interest. Although, I have thoroughly enjoyed reading through Will Richardson, David Warlick, Wesley Fryer, and Elliot Masie's blogs and their resources.
It's been pretty neat reading the many posts about the summer conferences and the bloggers getting a chance to meet face to face. I have read so much from these guys that they have become somewhat of an icon to me. I am not sure how I would react if I bumped into David Warlick at a hotel, or if Will and his family ran by me in a marathon. I would hope that I would keep my wits about me and extend a simple, "Thank you for all that you do!"
Although I am not writing much on my blog these days I am poking around and trying to stay in tune with what's hot and what's not. Summer does seem to be flying by and before I know it I'll hear the school bells ringing and those little feet scurrying down the hall. At this point, I look forward to the continued wealth of knowledge from our fearless afore mentioned mentors.
~ Let your freak flags fly and keep on keeping on ~ Crosby Stills and Nash
Posted by John Howell at 6:22 PM