Here's the thing, people: I don't like Seafair. Hate it, in fact. I know this is a little extreme, but celebrating the Navy feels too much to me like celebrating war.
Now, before you accuse me of being a dirty hippie, I'm not saying I don't appreciate the Navy. I'm not saying I don't respect the men and women that serve. I've even done my patriotic duty and taken one of those cute Navy boys to bed.*
But the thought of war makes me sick. Literally. Writing this post is creating a sour pearl of disgust in my belly. The Navy ships circling Elliott Bay are impressive, no doubt. And The Blue Angels do some really cool tricks (and waste a tremendous amount of fuel for the sake of our entertainment). But looking at them just makes me profoundly sad that we need such things at all.
Hoping for peace may be naive and idealistic. Indeed, we have so far proven ourselves incapable of not blowing each other up. I can recognize that, right now, the military is a necessary thing. Maybe even, right now, war is a necessary thing, though it makes me cringe to even think that. Still, though these things may be necessary, they are necessary evils. And while I can honor our military and those who serve, I can not celebrate it.
Now you can call me a dirty hippie.
My son, on the other hand, is free to form his own opinions and he thinks the Blue Angels are AWESOME. I arranged for him to attend day camp at Boeing's Museum of Flight**, where he's had a front row seat to the Angels' action. And because he loves it, and because I'm his mom, I can't wait to hear all about it when I pick him up this afternoon. Pearl of disgust be damned.
And to the rest of Seattle: please enjoy. I know many of you love Seafair and all that goes along with it. And truly, I don't mean to suggest that you shouldn't. I know I could probably stand to lighten up, but I feel pretty strongly about this one. So if you happen to see me looking skyward at the roar of the Angels with a look of sadness instead of awe, now at least you'll know why.
*Disclaimer: We were dating. I didn't just pick him up on the street corner during the Torchlight Parade. But that should only prove my point: I'm willing to date a military man. Military boy. He was young.
**The Kid is loving the Museum's day camp program, and he's a tough customer. It's more expensive than the usual day camp I send him to, but totally worth it for the amount of joy he's getting out of it. Just a little endorsement for Seattlites with kids: keep ACE camp in mind for next summer.