Thursday, July 30, 2015

Peacemakers

Katie, setting down a biography of Neil Armstrong she'd been reading: "Mom, you lived through the Cold War, right?"

Me: "Yep. I sure did."

Katie: "Who was President when you were born?"

Me: "Nixon."

Katie: "Oh, that's right. For a minute I was thinking it was John F. Kennedy."

Me: "Nope, but did you know that I was born on the day Kennedy was assassinated? Just seven years later--"

Katie: "What's assassinated?"

Me: "When a political leader is murdered."

Katie: "Why was he assassinated?"

Me: "I guess because the murderer didn't agree with him and wanted him dead."

Katie: "That is so weird. You know there are 365 days in a year, right?"

Me: "Yeah? So?"

Katie: "That's just so weird. The EXACT same day. Out of 365 days in a year it had to be on YOUR birthday."

Me: "Well, yeah, seven years later. He was assassinated on November 22, 1963, and I was born seven years later on November 22, 1970."

Katie: "Yeah, but that's so weird!"

Me: "Why is that so weird? I just think it's a coincidence. It could have been on any day. That just happened to be the day."

Katie: "Yeah, but Mom, it's just so ironic that you were born on the day that the President was assassinated, and you're such a peacemaker."

I never thought of it that way. It's so strange to see our kids make connections about us that we don't recognize. Here I just think of myself as some random person who just happened to be born on November 22, and who just happens to have an interest in peace, and here my 9 year old thinks of me as some kind of big time peace hero. It's flattering. And a little worrisome, since I know the time will come when she'll realize I'm just some random person who happens to think peace is a good idea, not a key player in the whole scheme of world peace. Or maybe I am. Maybe that's exactly what we are, as parents. We are our children's heroes. We are the teachers of peace. We are the peacemakers.