Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Remembrance Day Retreat (write of passage number thirty-seven)

Remembrance Day fell on a Sunday in 2001.

It was getting toward noon, and the Resident Fan Boy and I stood at a bus stop downtown with our daughters, then aged nine and five.  An imposing lady addressed the girls in that school-teacherish fashion that some older people take with strangers' children.

"It's a beautiful day to be out,  isn't it?"

Elder daughter smiled shyly and nodded politely.  Younger daughter was cheerfully oblivious.

An extra note entered the woman's tone, slightly challenging, slightly accusatory, with an overlying aura of righteousness.

"Were you girls down at the ceremony honouring our soldiers?"

Elder daughter froze and hesitated, her eyes widening.  My cue to intervene and cut the sidewalk sermon short.

"We were in church," I said, with a pleasant smile while fixing the lady with an unmistakeable "Mum" look.  Trump card.

"Oh," she fluttered.  "Well, then, that's just as good..."

She didn't say another word as the bus arrived.

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