Around the United States, in addition to all the young men and women who recently left home for their first year of college, there are thousands of families whose children are guarding our freedoms in far away places. Yesterday they, too, had left for kindergarten not even knowing that the place in which they awoke this morning even existed.
During my Iraq days, I wrote about a 23-year-old 1st Lieutenant in Fallujah:
We just keep growing these kids, asking them to do unbelievably important things in the harshest possible circumstances at an age when we should be worried if they aren't home by midnight much less home by next September and, oh, by the way, please be responsible for the lives of a couple of dozen other soldiers most of whom are years - or decades - older than you are.
The day after The Lad went to kindergarten, he left for college. The following afternoon he was working for the President of the United States. Then he was helping to re-elect the Governor of California. Now, he and his wife, The Ladette, have two children. Our granddaughters.
He is still the most important thing in my life. Where ever we are, we talk almost every day, The Lad and I. And now, at no additional cost, I get the daily report on the children.
Welcome, sweet little girls. Tomorrow you'll go to kindergarten; the next day, to college. Take my hand and walk with me for a little while until I have to wave goodbye and leave you to explore, with your mom and dad, the magic corners of your worlds.
"In a land called Honalee."