Last night I spent some time at the local police station (it's not what you're thinking!). My daughter's girl scout troop had the opportunity to be given a tour of the police station. We were led by Officer Larson - an extremely patient police officer who led the girls through the station. They loved every minute of it - the amazing technology of the dispatch room, being locked up in a jail cell, even the locker rooms and work out room. They were all well behaved and I was proud of them. Afterwards Officer Larson answered questions from the girls - everything from "Where are the police dogs?" to "What does a taser gun do?" As I sat there listening to their questions, I got to thinking about the sacrifice police officers make every time they report to duty. The amazing amount of danger every call can potentially pose every time they answer a 911 call.
As I reflect on the incredible damage Hurricane Sandy left behind, I'm reminded of who we call for help in our time of need. The policeman and fireman that come to our aid and selflessly put themselves in harm's way to keep us safe. That sometimes we take these men and women for granted when we call 911 during a storm because our power is out. Are we calling because it's a real emergency or are we calling because we feel entitled because we pay taxes? I often talk to other mom's about the challenges of raising a child today - in this 'entitlement society'. Where it's commonplace to think that we're entitled to something regardless of whether we've worked for it or not. What about sacrifice? What about earning what you get in life instead of having it handed to you? I try to teach my kids about savoring what you have and appreciating all that we're blessed with instead of worrying about and yearning for what they don't have. That living in this country is a privilege and an honor and to appreciate all those that have sacrificed to give us the opportunities we have today.
Today is all about service and responsiblity. Today we all get a chance to cast our vote for our next leader. Yes, part of me can't wait for the political ads to stop - I think they've cut down a forest of trees to fill my mailbox! More importantly, I want my kids to realize what a great honor it is to live in this country. To benefit from the sacrifice that all the servicemen and women have made to keep us safe and allow us the opportunity to cast our vote freely and without retribution. Today I'll take my kids with me to the voters box - I want them to feel like they make a difference and to appreciate all that we have. Because they DO make a difference - we all do.