Happy half-birthday to this crazy kiddo! M’s half birthday coincided with Memorial Day this year, but we had no real plans, since I’m still in the throes of dissertating, so traveling was out of the question. She went with A to the zoo in the morning while I struggled mightily (on no sleep, thanks again M!) to write a python script to reorganize my data file and had a sobbing breakdown. I did eventually get it working, though. Then I took a break and ran errands with A and M – wasn’t much of a break because holy crap, this kid was bonkers. If I’d’ve been smart, I would’ve done the fun thing in the morning and then stayed home and worked during errands, but I’m not super smart on no sleep. (Which is exactly why I should be writing a dissertation in this state, eh?)
On Memorial Day, I try to reflect upon and offer my respects to those who’ve served the US, though for me it is a little bit abstract. I mostly think about my good high school friend who served in Iraq (in Fallujah), who thankfully survived and is doing excellent work on Veterans issues and working on his Ph.D now. I grew up in a family of pacifists (and consider myself one), and don’t actually have any family connections to the military (well, not quite true: my cousin joined the Navy a few years ago and then his dad followed suit, becoming a Navy chaplain). My grandparents were kids during WWII, then my mom’s dad was turned away for Korea because of flat feet (which boggles my mind for two reasons: flat feet as a reason to reject a potential soldier? I mean, he does have the flattest feet I’ve ever seen on a human, but still. The other reason it boggles my mind is because I have the highest arches I’ve ever seen on a person. Genetics are weird.), and my dad’s dad was a conscientious objector/in divinity school (he then worked hard in the civil rights movement here in the States). My parents were too young for Vietnam (and my dad would likely have secured a conscientious objection had he been old enough, anyway). The generations just didn’t line up. From the frequency with which old photos of family members in uniforms and gravestones, etc were being posted on Facebook on Monday, I get the impression that this is kind of weird? But it is what it is. I can’t couch it in the form of a claim to connection, but I still offer thanks and respect.