This year I was touched to see Esky and Ivy piecing together more of how we can remember those who have served and now serve, and I could almost see them untangling their complicated feelings and associations tied up with war. Last year when we reviewed the Gallipoli campaign I could see all the girls heard was "guns, fighting, death" and they visibly checked out. I had hoped to come in with the positives and the things I do feel are worth remembering, but the imagery and overall reality of how sad war is shouted over any other message last year. This year was better. First of all, we covered the material without Mia. That helped. All Mia knew was she was going to see Poppy (her great-grandfather) and give him a Poppy to say thank-you. She got that much. But Esky and Ivy really took in more about WWI, WWII, and war generally. They understood more of the Dardinelles, the acronym ANZAC, the chosen date, and the overarching memorial day being more than just Gallipoli. They really got into Simpson and his donkey this year. I was so confident they were doing okay that we went into the Korean war after that (where their great-grandfather served), and they were still with me! Then at the dawn parade they saw 'Poppy" (my dad is Pop and Papa's Pop is Poppy to them). They heard how loud the cannon was. They saw a sombre assembly of fellow citizens gathered in the darkness. They caught phrases from poetry and prayer that pleaded "never again." They stood while anthems were sung. The period costume soldiers' initial approach and bugle really tug on my heartstrings. It didn't matter that when I said to Haki: "remember the bag" (i.e. the bag with baking I'd stayed up doing the night before) and he grabbed my Sunday bag AND a bag of clothing to hand-me-down to a friend (you can see him lugging both in picture three *cry-laugh*) and left the bag in the car because that's the small stuff. I look at my kids and I'm shocked to see they're grasping some of the big stuff.