11 November 2011

Why are you wearing a poppy, Mummy?

My children are three and four. I don't want them to know about war yet. They will find out soon enough. They will learn one day about genocide, the Holocaust, horrific atrocities, the awfulness of war and man's inhumanity to man. Alongside this they will also learn about bravery, self-sacrifice and heroism. Most of all I want them to learn about the people.

The soldier in the trenches, the war poet, the land-girl, the code-breaker, the pilot, the submariner, the Home-Guard, the Resistance, the medic, the prisoner of war, the girl who wrote a diary, the man with the medals (my Grandad), the boy bounced out of his bed when the Luftwaffe bombed the railway line near his house (my Dad), the Captain in the South Atlantic, the Squaddie in Afghanistan, the peace-keeper, the politician and their mothers.

So when I was asked the question 'Why are you buying a poppy, Mummy?', I thought for a moment, brushed away a tear and answered, 'To remember some people'.

Lest we forget.


  1. Great post. My twins are 6 yrs old and know that mummy served in the army for 10 years incl The Falklands and Northern Ireland, but they don't really grasp the significance of today, although they have been told it is to remember all the people who have died in conflict for this country.
    It's a tough one but I think you have said the right thing for children so young.

  2. Aww that's so sweet. I put a little poppy on my Son today, he's only 3 but I don't think they fully understand it (or should) until they are much older!

  3. Great post,Two of my eldest children did a school play about remembrance sunday at school.They tried to explain to their siblings who are younger,But I also told them the same we are remebering important people.I believe uou have told them the right think.

  4. I like that approach. I miss wearing poppies. Over here in the States they have 'Veterans Day' and my 6 yr old's class had to talk about Veterans they knew. Of course, for most kids over here that means Granddads who were drafted in Korea or Vietnam. My six yr old asked how wars started and I launched into this half-arsed essay about the 'pen being mightier than the sword'. I think your 'less is more' approach was probably better!!

  5. Karen, I hadn't realised that was your background. They will learn more as they get older.

    Muminator, (great name BTW!), yes, 3 is too young to understand, but each year they will see the poppy and learn more.

    Real Supermum, thank you.

    AliBlahBlah, (another great name!), it's difficult to know how to answer some of the more direct and difficult questions. You want to tell the truth, but not the whole story.


Blog Widget by LinkWithin