Little Miss learnt a new word this week. “Po-ppy.” (Which she says in this stagnated way every time. This might be my fault as I sounded it out in an exaggerated fashion to be sure she heard the difference between ‘poppy’ and ‘puppy’…)
On Monday en route to nursery, we stopped to buy a poppy from the elderly man selling them at our local tube station. He told us he was a child during the war and sells poppies every year.
Little Miss took a real shine to my poppy and wanted to wear it herself. I slipped it inside her scarf (pin removed) but it didn’t last long. Unfortunately she managed to take it apart and it never returned with her from nursery.
After dropping her off, however, I saw someone else selling poppies, but this time they had silicon bracelets and hair slides. Perfect for Little Miss.
Little Miss is far to young to understand the importance of these poppies, but The OH and I think it’s important she knows when she is old enough.
The OH’s Grandad served in WWII, while his Grandma, pregnant with The OH’s Aunt tried to sleep under a mattress under the stairs through the London bombings before he returned home to her in 1945. Our family is lucky; we’re relatively unaffected by the war, with no one serving in the modern military.
But we still wear poppies because if someone chooses to serve in the military and is negatively effected by injury, loss or mental health issues such as post-traumatic stress disorder, they and their families need support to heal and regain normality in their lives. You may not agree with war or the military, but for now, they exist just the same. And service men, woman veterans and their families, often in their darkest hours, need the clinics, services and support The British Legion helps to offer.
So don’t just awkwardly pull out your phone to avoid eye contact with the man shaking a blue tin by the tube exit or pretend you have no change for the woman standing outside the store with a box of poppies. It’s only £1, which to someone out there, could mean getting their life back.
But most of all, when you buy your poppy this year, don’t forget to explain to your children why we wear them.