This morning was filled with the hustle and bustle of layering children with warm clothes and digging out snowsuits and mittens and hats.
We got them all suited up and out the door.
As Matt buckled them in, I scurried around collecting poppies and diapers and a camera.
We drove to a nearby Tim Hortons to purchase coffee and hot chocolate.
While waiting in the drive thru line, we decided one child had likely discarded their mittens in the house before getting in the van since they were no where to be seen.
So after collecting our hot drinks, we turned around and headed back home.
Half way there, the little one waved her rediscovered mittens for all to see.
Turning again, we headed downtown to meet up with my Dad for the Remembrance Day ceremony.
Everyone toppled out of the van, having arrived at our destination.
Coats were zipped and hats secured.
All the while, little voices begged for the awaiting hot chocolate.
Finally, we were all ready.
We followed the crowds to the cenotaph and found a spot where the kids could see the marching bands and soldiers when they passed by.
Hot chocolate spilled down coats.
Hats were pulled off and then asked to be put back on.
One child tired of standing and laid down on the pavement.
(Only to be told to stand back up. Now.)
Another whined about being in the stroller.
Still another asked to PLEASE be allowed to sit in the stroller.
As siblings do, each took a turn pestering and causing the other to squeal, annoyed and impatient.
When the guns began to fire, there were complaints that it was too loud or too scary.
They talked through the prayers and were silent for the songs.
Noses were wiped with mittened hands.
We shushed and scolded and instructed and explained.
And all the while we were cold.
A bit bored.
A lot impatient.
Remembering is hard.
And if you're a parent, it's a lot of work.
I was thinking about this after we'd returned home, our bellies full and our bodies warm.
How easy it would have been to stay home and avoid the hassle.
To laze around in our jammies all day and do nothing with our day off.
But I think too of those we are remembering.
The men and women who gave their lives on the battlefield.
Those who returned, forever changed and marked by all they saw and experienced.
Many who still serve our country today, leaving family and loved ones for long periods of time.
The families who wait and pray and do life without that one they love.
For them it was and is hard and uncomfortable and a lot work.
As I think about this, our morning doesn't seem so bad.
We're instilling in our kids the reality that sometimes you do things, not because it's fun or easy, but because it is right and good.
I know I'm glad my parents taught me that.
There are things worth doing and people worth remembering and respect worth showing.
We will remember them.
Last year's Remembrance Day post: Why I Wear A Poppy