Last weekend I took the boys to Diana’s sister’s place in Dixon Illinois for a BBQ. We had a great time but had to leave far to early to make the 3+ hour drive home in time for the boys to refuse to go to bed.
As we passed through Dixon, we spotted a fighter jet at the side of the road. The boys shouted their approval at the military might. The jet looked in nice condition and not part of some junk dealer/meth dealer’s collection, so I swung the car over to let Elijah and Luca get a closer look.
The Jet was joined by a pretty mean looking helicopter and tank and a M*A*S*H style ambulance that seemed to be banished in the corner.
The boys sprang from the car and ran full tilt towards the weapons. Luca screamed death at the top of his lungs. “Pew pew pew! Kapow!”
I walked under a small white arch and realized this was a memorial to the fallen soldiers of Illinois, not a Michael Bay set.
“Dudes! Dudes! Get over here! I yelled. The boys raced over, vibrating with excitement.
“Dad. Dad. Did you see the guns? The guns? Do you think that gun could kill us? Do you think that gun could blow up the car?”
I assumed a sober stance of Dad Who Ruins Everything.
“Guys. This is a memorial. A memorial is a place that honors dead people. These things are here to honor people who died for America. They fought for…you know…freedom.”
I was determined not to let them dishonor the dead, but I also didn’t want to get all liberal hippie dippie on them.
“Let’s go over and read this plaque,” said Dad Who Ruins Everything.
Smartly, Luca ran away to peer into the helicopter cockpit. Eli stood by me because I was holding onto his t-shirt.
Eli wriggled away and stood underneath the jet. I walked over, slowly and churchy to show them how to behave at a memorial. Luca raced over, barely touching the ground and begged me for answers about the kind of death this huge thing could deal.
I stood for a moment of silence and said, “It goes WHOOOOOOSHHHHHH! BOOOM! PEW PEW PEW PEW!”