Pretty much as soon as Halloween is out the way, I pop on my poppy. I bought a hand crocheted one a few years back which I love and I always make a donation. For me, wearing a poppy symbolises my gratitude to those who have fought or are fighting for my freedom; for those who have lost their lives and those whose lives will never be the same.
Lamp post poppy spotting
A few villages nearby have put up poppies on many of their lamp posts and so this year my girls have had fun spotting them out of their car window. I tried my best to give an age appropriate explanation for why they are seeing this flower everywhere but found it incredibly hard. At just three, they have no concept of war or death. They can barely grasp gratitude.
Regardless, as the poppy spotting had become something they enjoyed, I planned to buy them a poppy each to wear on their coats. This was until I casually mentioned it to Daddy2twindividuals. He wasn’t keen and after a quick chat, I could see his point. Aside from the risk of an inadvertent nipple piercing from the silly pin, he had other reservations too.
Nowerdays, the poppy has become something of a nationalist symbol. Pressure is applied to wear one by public figures and heavy critism received if they choose not to. I’m my eyes, the physical pin on your clothing is not necessary to show reverence. Just because someone does choose to wear one, doesn’t mean they feel the same way about armistice day as you.
My sheltered preschoolers are in no way able to comprehend the complexities of war. I barely can. As a parent, I’m not sure how I feel about putting any symbol on my child that they don’t understand. The poppy can be seen as a simple flower or it can be used to represent so much more.
No poppy this year
Either way, this year, I’m choosing not to buy a poppy for them. Instead, I’ll make a donation to the Royal British Legion like I do every year. This fantastic charity supports veterans and their families. We might paint a poppy or watch The Poppy Story on YouTube to mark rememberance day. Do you think children should wear a poppy or be required to maintain one minute silence?