Monday, October 23, 2006

New Traditions from Old

Your blog [] brought back memories and I thank you for that.

It is wonderful to teach children to share and to be thankful for what we have.

I remember the first time I heard about children of war. My father was in the military, I was 5 yrs old and he was in Vietnam. My mother told us to be grateful for what we had and reminded us often there were whole families in Vietnam living on the streets. I asked her “Where do they plug in their TV? Fridge? Toaster? ...” The picture I had in my head was furniture and everything in a normal house but lined up on a sidewalk next to the street. A house with everything except floors, walls. doors or roof. The reason it had to be on the sidewalk and not in the street? Well every 5 yr old knows better than to be in the street. You could be run over by a car.

There were four of us children and only one prize in the cereal box (when they actually had prizes in the box). You were the “winner” if the prize fell in your bowl while you poured your cereal. Mother would give you a great big hug and kiss then place the prize in a box on top of the refrigerator. When she received the military pay for the month she would take us to the post office to send off all the cereal prizes we had collected since the same time last month. The prizes were sent to my father to pass out to the Vietnamese children in the village near his camp. It made us feel like we were helping someone else. We also sent them Valentines, paper Turkey decorations (made from tracing our hands), Christmas cards. There were other little things we put in the box on top of the fridge.

Never thought of it before today but that must be the reason I started the “Go Away” box at our house. Snow White knows if it doesn’t fit it goes in the Go Away box. If she doesn’t want a toy any more it goes in the Go Away box. I know I am dating myself by admitting to being a live during the Vietnam war and when prizes were inside the actual cereal boxes but oh well 

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