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Home » 9to5to9

Dad’s story: So this is what the civilian world is like

Submitted by on Monday, 29 June 2009 2 Comments
My phone freaked Dad out at about 4 this morning - come to think of it, that's his normal wake-up time, so I'm not sure why it even fazed him.

I'd gotten out of the habit of changing the sound settings to "phone calls only" at night because I no longer hear email alerts anymore, the same way Tweetdeck beeps don't register with me but always catch the guys' ears.

A series of emails landing on my phone definitely caught Dad's ear. He was ready to chew out a colleague for leaving on a phone that was going to catch a sergeant's attention. "Come on, guys," he thought. "Turn that off before we all get in trouble."

And then he realized he wasn't across the country in a barracks with dozens of other soldiers, but back in California, in his own bed with his guys slumbering in the next room.

Back in California, a state he'd once cursed but grew to miss desperately. "Can I hug these almond trees?" he texted as he crossed into the Central Valley where we live.

Back to our home, where we chatted like teen-agers at a slumber party until the time zones caught up with him and he fell asleep as I talked.

"I remember hearing someone yammering, but it wasn't registering. It's like someone was giving me anesthesia."

"You better stop before you bury yourself in that hole you're digging," I said.

Back to our kitchen, where he confused Big Guy when he ordered him to "go chow" as the usual breakfast protest started.

Back to our bathroom, where a layer of toothpaste grime he'd never noticed before bugged him. As did the characteristic clutter in the dining room. "I need to clean this up this week," he said.

Back to Boots, who started crying when his father left on a convenience store run. "Daddy's gone already!" He brightened when Big Guy and I were able to convince him a few minutes later that Daddy would be back soon.

When we last saw Dad at his Basic Combat Training graduation, the physical differences stood out, though the change in carriage and confidence also were striking.

This time, we're noticing the mental shifts.

The man who put the "mosey" in mosey mode gets up, dressed and out and about first thing in the morning. The person who could trip over toys for days now finds the chaos as irritating as I do.

It's a nice change. I do hope, though, that I remember to change the sound settings on the phone tonight so I don't get clocked tomorrow morning.

Copyright 2009 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.

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2 Comments »

  • MtnMom said:

    You do know that some of your gal pals want to send their husbands into the Army for that mental shift, right?

    WELCOME HOME, DAD! SO GLAD YOU ARE SAFE AND BACK WITH THE FAMILY WE ENJOY READING ABOUT EVERYDAY!

    So happy for y’all! Just so very happy. :)

  • Debra said:

    The mental shift is kind of nice once you figure out how to use it to your advantage. For instance, I found out today that if I call him by his Army nickname, he answers quickly. He can ignore all variations of his first name,as well as honey, etc., for ages. But the nickname gets his attention because he’s used to hearing it from his sergeant. Luckily, his last sergeant was a woman, as was his captain in basic training. So I don’t even have to lower the pitch of my voice to get it to work.