5 Years Too Many

My son was born March 24th, 2003.

5 days before the life changing birth of my first child, the war in Iraq began.

Every phone call of congratulations mixed with worry and sadness. Every moment of joy, marred by CNN in the background. Every visitor with gifts and head shaking as they talked of the news.

Every single moment of my son’s life we have been at war.

His uncle is on his second tour in Iraq. Not first, second.

His cousins are stationed in Germany with their Mother and a new sister who has yet to meet her Dad.

I’ve spent five years grabbing the remote to change the channel quickly before little eyes see burned out convoys and dead bodies on the news.

I’ve spent five years biting my tongue as family marches off to serve.

I’ve spent five years looking at photos, always seeing the background before the bouncing baby.

Five. Years. Too. Many.

We will be* in Northridge tomorrow for a candle light vigil marking this anniversary. You can join us, or use your voice and blog.

*edited at 4pm march 19th-smalled child is passed out on my living room floor. Not sure we’re going to make the vigil. Please join the blogswarm.


  1. I was in the hospital pregnant, on bed rest, when the war started. My husband was deployed on a submarine, unreachable on mission. My son was born on April 7, 2003 and my husband was sent a Red Cross message informing him of the birth of his first child. I am in the same boat as you, my dear. Sucky, sucky, sucky…

  2. Like you, we watched the news of the invasion as we sat in the hospital holding our new born daughter. Her entire life, we have been at war. It’s mind-boggling.

  3. Hi Queen,

    Please thank your brother and his family for their service and sacrifice for me.


    Thank you for your sacrifice. Please tell your husband thank you for his service.

  4. I was thinking the same thoughts this week. Hard to believe all that’s happened in our lives, including having 2 kids, moving from NYC to Chicago, starting a company, writing a book, etc … and that war has been going on the whole time.

    Our son was born on 40th anniversary of JFK shooting. We keep having to tell the nurses to turn off the damn TV in the delivery room. Only other channel in the hospital – 36 hour SNL marathon. Should a child be brought into the world under the watchful gaze of Chris Farley?

  5. One of my clients husband has been to Iraq 4 times. He survived attacks the first 3 rotations. He told her before he left for tour #4 that he would not be back…he had outlived his luck.

    So far he’s been lucky.

  6. I pray this stops soon.

  7. kate ritchie says:

    Very strange to think how much I’ve changed in five years, but how war over same time period has remained the same. When this started I was in college and now have (too) many friends and fellow grads fighting there. I pray that all stay safe.

  8. A prayer for the safe return of your brother.

  9. the picture says it all.
    my best friend’s husband is on his third tour. i’ll add you and yours to the list of people i send good thoughts to.

  10. This post is deeply moving. Thank you for sharing your personal story as it so beautifully illustrates why so many of us are opposed to this war. Even if our story is different I don’t see how anyone could read yours and not feel a sense of shared connection and humanity. That is what it is all about.

  11. Wow. That’ was beautiful. I’m going to post a kind of response on my blog – you’ve really got me thinking Erin. Happy birthday to our little one — he’s the joy that reminds us why we keep moving forward, right? Blessings to your family and keep them safe.

  12. Leonardo Abreu says:

    Eventought I live in a country that does not have this kind of war I understood your situation. We are all one family, but interest and political division had divided us in pieces and for this reasson we are fighting against each others.
    I hope this will end soon and your son will have a wonderfull birthday

  13. Just last night, I was thinking back to how naive we all were when the troops toppled Hussein’s statue, and we all thought it was “over.” Mmhmm…over indeed.

    For what it’s worth, my daughter, now 17 1/2, was born the week Dubya’s father invaded the first time, July 20, 1990. I remember lying in my hospital bed, nursing my first born, and watching war footage. Good times…

  14. My son was born March 19th, 2003. Right before giving birth, the nurse ran in to tell me that we were at war. Lucky her that pretty soon I was screaming and pushing because I was ready to rip her to shreds otherwise… not the news I needed to hear right then and there!

    Missed ya lady!

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