January 19, 2009

Welcome To Vietnam, Boys, You're In For A Helluva Fight

Although Rowdy and I are both perhaps the least scheduled people who ever walked the globe, our evenings with the boys have become nothing less than a ritual. The boys, Daddy included, play on the living room for about an hour as I cook supper. Wrestling and chase are two favorite games, but bucking bulls will always be king. They eat while I load the dishwasher and then I round up the two filthy children and pour steamy water over their soapy heads in the bathtub. As soon as everyone is washed and dried and dressed in pajamas, we pick out our bedtime story and I read to them as Ridge impatiently demands his little brother to stop leaping on the bed like a monkey and listen to Momma.
Of course, in between and during each of these nightly steps, Rowdy and I talk about whatever's on our minds. Or, I talk and he begrudgingly pauses whatever bullshit sporting event he is watching until I'm done. Last night we were discussing tomorrow's inauguration, thank God its finally here, and somehow the conversation turned to Vietnam.
Now, for those of you who don't know this, my grandfather was a Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Marine Corp and served two terms in that war. To some members of my generation, Vietnam is just the part of the movie where Forest Gump gets shot in the ass. But, to me and my sister and my cousins, Vietnam hung very much over our collective childhoods like a cloud. After all, the war had only been over 5 years when I was born and my grandfather, who is know in his 70s, will always be that weathered Marine, even if it is wrapped in a soft grandfather.
Anyways, the boys were running around like the lawless banchies they are as I told Rowdy the details that surrounded my grandfather's Purple Heart. As a helicopter pilot, he was shoot down flying behind enemy lines. With a bullet through his leg, he narrowly escaped capture from the enemy, but he made it back. Even though I'm nearly 30 myself, still a bit younger than he was when he was fighting in the jungles of Southeast Asia, it is hard for me to reconcile the funny old man who took me and my friends on adventurous vacations in my youth in violent combat in that time and that place.
After the brief pause for conversation, I got back on the nighttime ritual track and herded the boys to bed. We woke up this morning and the Vietnam War was far from my mind.
***And then, as I was scrambling eggs, Ridge came limping over to me and declared:
Damn, I've been shot in the leg. I was flyin' my helicopter into town to get new clothes and those Viet Cong got me."

Yeah, that's right, my four-year-old actually said Viet Cong. That's just how we roll (Oh, I think I forgot to tell you guys that I've really been working on my Urban lingo, so be looking out for that. I'm definitely gonna be whipping that shit out from time to time.)

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Anonymous said...

Viet Cong...okay that was good..very good.

Anonymous said...

Oh Lord, I feel old. You see, my grandfather was also in a war, but it was WW II, a whole generation before Vietnam. My university friends were refugees from the war. And your grandfather was in it.

Even my baby sister is past 30, and you're not even there yet. Plus you're whipping out the urban speak, which just scares people my age, you know.

I think I have to go and knit something now to calm my nerves.

phonelady said...

oh puleez you feel old ? look at my damn age and you two feel old then i must be ready for the rocking chair at shady hills retirement village . I swear sometimes I feel like I am ready for it . but your blogs are always funny and the way your word them hilarious . Gotta love you . talk to you soon .

Captain Dumbass said...

Those little monkeys are such sponges. My 5 yr old has a fascination for WWII planes. We had to remind him many times that the war was a long time ago and that the Japanese are our friends now and please god shut up when we're in public since so many Japanese people live where we live. Sigh.

Michelle said...

Here's the first thing that came to my mind:

At least Ridge was listening to you talk on about your grandfather!! I am guessing Rowdy, perhaps wasn't?

I'm just saying!!!

Happy Monday!!!!

growingupartists said...

It's Urban Lingo Monday, at least as far as blog titles go.

Chris said...

Isn't it amazing to look at our grandfathers and our children's grandfathers and think that this sweet old man who is pulling candy kisses from his pocket, was at one time standing in a jungle fighting (and killing) for his life.

Trixie said...

LOL! It's amazing what kids absorb, remember, and how the funniest things come out of their mouths because of it! My youngest boy does it all the time!

for a different kind of girl said...

Ridge should now quiz Rowdy to see who learned more after that discussion!

Viet Nam was never, ever discussed in school. Not even in high school. It wasn't part of our textbooks, it wasn't part of our lessons. Hell, I didn't realize until I was in high school that I was a child when Viet Nam was still going on.

Unknown said...

I lived through the 70's never knowing VietNam was even going on. Pretty sheltered back then. Now, thanks to CNN, it's hard to keep anything quiet. I was pretty happy that my boys were too young to ask much when Monica Lewinsky was around. Anyway, great post!

Michele said...

I remember the Vietnam war but most notably I remember the broken boys and men that came home. My husband didn't get called up, thank you God but his brother did. I think it is great that Ridge is listening to the stories about your grandpa. Hopefully, he'll remember them when he gets older.

Casey said...

I'm digging the urban language. Fo Shizzle.
Viet Cong, wow. That's a kid with a good memory.

Lorrie Veasey said...

You have some mad skillz with the urban lingo babycakes!

Martie said...

My Poppy (Uncle who raised me) was paralyzed from mid chest down in Vietnam. And in the last 8 years has had to have both legs amputated. Vietnam was a sucky war. But I'm glad my Poppy went.

Kids are listening even when they look/act ike they aren't. And they are like OLD people--they can't hear worth a damn--unless you are talking about something you don't want them to hear--then they can hear a cricket fart outside. Cool.

Unknown said...

Not only is that a great and funny story, but it is very well written. I enjoyed every word!

Anonymous said...

heh, you're going to be whipping it out. awesome. :P

Finish This Page, but click on the older posts, too.

The knee-slappin,' cursin,' GOOD TIMES don't start or end on the front page, so read the older posts! Maybe you missed something. Maybe you forgot. I try to post daily, so read the older posts!
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