When he got home he was nervous, he thought he would be getting grounded. But we didn’t ground him. I feel sorry for him. If you’re a little kid and want to be a fireman when you grow up, you can pretend to be that. You can practice being a basketball star or run around pretending to be a NASCAR driver. But you can’t pretend to be a soldier and that’s what Will wants to be when he grows up.
We live near Fort Knox and see soldiers on a daily basis. We live so close we can hear explosions and shooting at all hours. Will respects soldiers. He looks up to his Grandfather who served in Viet Nam and who still serves by helping fellow veterans at the Veterans Freedom Center, in Dubuque, Iowa. Will wants to fight for our country someday. I think it’s sad that he has to suppress that. I understand that our world has changed but he’s just a little boy, he’s not a criminal. If the school would have called the police I guarantee I would have been on CNN.
Will has a good friend who lives right next door. He isn’t allowed to play with pretend guns or fake weapons either so he and Will play other things. Many parents have made the decision to not allow their kids to play with guns. I get this, I really do. But when these kids grow up and the neighbor kid is a fireman and the kid down the street is a mechanic, we are still going to need soldiers. How many kids are going to want to be police officers or soldiers if they are raised to believe guns and weapons are wrong and bad?
Maybe William will change his mind and decide to be something else when he grows up. That’s fine with me – what mother in their right mind would want their child to be in harm’s way? But for right now, today, he is saddened by the fact that he has to play soldier alone and that he wants to be something when he grows up that isn’t accepted by his school.
“Why don’t schools like you to pretend you’re a soldier mom? Do schools think soldiers are bad people? Should I pick something else to be when I grow up?” These questions break my heart and make me struggle as a parent.
"You’ll be an amazing soldier someday Will, don’t ever let what people think or say change your mind. But you have to follow the rules, even if they suck." -Mom