In first grade, he left for four months for basic training. I cannot even begin to imagine how terrified my mom must have been, alone with four children under the age of 7.
My dad would send me letters and draw my favorite characters. Oh, I treasured those letters and still have them. One day, during recess, I started crying. I missed him so much! My sweet teacher tried to comfort me in telling me he only had a month left, but to a sad little girl, a month is forever.
When it was finally time to pick dad up from Missouri, my teacher gave me a journal to write about my adventure. My siblings, my mom and I drove all the way to Missouri and got to see where my dad had been the last 4 months.
I got to go to a military wedding with dad. He was one of the soldiers who held the saber in an arch over the bride and groom as they left the church. When the happy couple passed them, my dad took his saber, and with the flat side, swatted that bride on her bottom!
Come to find out later, that it’s military tradition that the last soldier in the arch swats the bride on her bottom, but I remember feeling so scandalized!
As we drove home, when we crossed the state line to New Mexico, dad had mom stop the car. He climbed out, knelt down and kissed the ground. We all burst out laughing when he gingerly stood up and pulled several goat heads from his knees! Apparently, between my chortles of laughter I exclaimed "welcome to sticker land!"
Life was right with me again. My daddy was home!
Join me every Thursday as I share a portion of my life in an attempt to get it written down. If you would like to record your youth, head over to Mommy's Piggy Tales.