Los Tres Amigos Veterans Day

By Jeremy G. Schneider, MFT

Another Los Tres Amigos Sabado (Saturday), another happy day! After my delightful evening Friday night, I woke up bright and early to get the Okapis dressed and out the door to iHop for breakfast. They behaved very well and we had another nice time.

As this is the second time we’ve really gotten to listen to Shabbat music together, they really seem to be enjoying it. They are beginning to have their favorite songs (Dorit’s favorite is my favorite and Lucas’ is a song that has both Hebrew and Spanish in it). It was all we listened to during our travels and it was very enjoyable and felt so good that they are beginning to really connect with it.

After iHop I had a surprise in store for them. We spent a lot of weekends at the beach this summer, but obviously haven’t been back. Since it was such a lovely day, I was thinking we would go down to the beach, see the ocean and the sand again, and take a little walk along the boardwalk. They were very excited to see the sand and ocean again and even knew about the boardwalk (which I didn’t think they did). At one point, we were walking along the boardwalk, hand-in-hand, and I just thought this was the life. Enjoying the sun, the ocean, holding my Okapis’ hands. To me, that’s a pretty damn good weekend.

After the beach we went to the library, which I didn’t know was closed (it was Veterans Day). Bummer. But we recovered quickly and went to the playground where they had a ceremony for Veterans. It was pretty short and I brought the Okapis over to it near the end. I explained to them about the flags, showed them the eagles on the flag poles, and pointed out soldiers, people who had fought in a war.

“You know who else fought in a war?”

“Who?” they asked.

“Uncle H. Uncle H is a veteran. This is his day.”

There we were, in a tiny little playground in the middle of Long Island and they were having a small ceremony, talking about the sacrifices they made, the honor and respect they paid to this country, to its people and to the flag. They talked about those who didn’t come home to their families and I sat holding my Okapis, hoping they never have to experience anything like that in their lifetime – though I know it is inevitable. They didn’t understand the seriousness of the ceremony, but they understood something was going on and they were very quiet and well-behaved. Fortunately, we got to see the flag bearers walk right by us with their flags held high and I think they really enjoyed being so close to these huge flags.

Afterwards, we went to the playground and played for almost an hour. It is always a challenge to have both of them at the playground, trying to keep one eye on each of them without going cross-eyed. At one point, Dorit ran off and I couldn’t see her. I looked all around but to no avail. For a brief moment it was terrifying and I had to yell out her name. Lucas didn’t see her either and I was beginning to feel panic. But then I spotted her out of the corner of my eye. She and I had a little chat on a bench about staying where she could see Mommy or Daddy. Eeessh.

All in all, however, another incredibly enjoyable Los Tres Amigos Sabado.

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