Is it a War, or is it a Wii?

June 1, 2010

photo by TIME

A war, not a wii. A demonstrator accidentally lights himself with his Molotov cocktail during a skirmish this week in Bangkok.

Busy Son book time tonight. He scanned his book shelf and asked, “Mom, what is dubayou, dubayou, eye, eye mean?”  Me, the Chief Finder of Things to do in a video-game-free household, continued folding socks, misinterpreting the question as another nudge in the gaming arena of Things Wanted Really Bad.   

“That’s a wee, honey.  A computer game by Apple,” I answered. “You know, like an XBOX.” He pulled out the old National Geographic off the shelf, Sparkly Hubby saves them, and showed me the mushroom cloud.  He pointed to the cover.  “No, like this,” he said.   

World War Two, I saw with a jolt.  Oh. Just a war, not a Wii. 

I’d dumbed my son down. A random question; a busy mother’s 2010 answer, age appropriate, so I thought, for a tiny dude.     

That said, I’m fortunate — no spoiled — that the first that comes to mind is a video game, not a war.  Hopefully our not-so-tiny dudes never will know what it feels like to beach on Normandy, rifle in hand, or swelter in a quiet tunnel in Vietnam.   

I’m following the political strife in beloved Bangkok, not prime time for American news, but rich fodder for the BBC.  The subway station we had trouble exchanging ride tokens?  Gone. The humongous shopping mall at the end of the MRT line? Demolished.  Burned to smithereens by the rebel supported Red Shirt Army.  Seriously, how close can close be?  

How much do we take for granted our freedom?     

On this Memorial Day, a sincere Thank you to all who have served.

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