What did you bring me?

I remember when I was young, my father traveled a fair amount with his jobs.

He would travel to interesting places … Colorado Springs, San Francisco, Germany, Panama … I can’t remember them all.

My sister and I couldn’t wait to see what he would bring us when he would return.

Of course, my father is quite the photographer, and we could always count on a slide show to go along with his big trips. I miss those a great deal now, taking the pictures off the wall in the dining or living room so that the projector would have a big white space on which to throw its light.

But after most trips, we would pepper him with what must have been a familiar welcome upon his returns.

“Daddy, what did you bring me?”

Sometimes it was some trinket or a shirt or nothing. Sometimes it was something only a boy with interests such as mine would have enjoyed as much, like a chunk of fool’s gold from a trip out West.

(After all this time, my all-time favorite may be the Star Wars bedsheets he brought back to me from Germany, of all places. I’d still be using the pillowcase, if my wife would let me get away with it.)

But nonetheless, my dad always, if he had the opportunity, brought us something back.

I’m sure he would have rather come home and heard, “Welcome home, Daddy,” or “it’s great to have you home, Dad.” But he didn’t. We were kids, and I guess we took it for granted that he would always come back safely and I think we never understood how Mama worried while he was gone.

But it didn’t matter. He always tried to bring us something from his travels anyway.

And now I understand.

In two days, it will have been six weeks since I’ve seen my family. I’ve missed a lot and I miss them a lot.

Talking on the phone is just no substitute for seeing them or holding them or snuggling up with them at night. I’ve missed a great deal of smiles and maybe as many tears.

I’ve taken a ton of pictures, and I can’t wait to show them all the cool things I’ve seen and done. And I’ve bought T-shirts and postcards and little trinkets, just like my dad did for us.

And I’ve done it mainly because, while I’ve gotten to talk to Dylan on the phone, it just doesn’t seem like enough. I want him to know how much I’ve thought about him while I’ve been in Reno. I want him to understand that, even when I was 2,400 miles away, I was thinking about him. A lot.

And I don’t know for certain, but maybe that’s how my dad felt. And I don’t know if I can ever thank him or tell him that I love him enough.

But one thing I do know is I can’t wait to show Dylan what I brought him.

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2 Responses to “What did you bring me?”

  1. Fantastic story. Thanks from us here at http://www.bentpage.wordpress.com.

  2. How come you’re not telling everyone what Dylan said when you got home? I mean, I know you’re no pony or horse, but still, he was pretty exctied to see you …

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