It’s Christmas morning of 1988. I wake up very early. I begin to creep down the hallway, rubbing my soft innocent eyes and sweeping my small feet against the grain of the floor. Dressed in pajamas, I glance off to the kitchen, noticing that mommy had awaken. As my rested face begins to crack a smile, I lure my way toward her with open arms. As she picks me up, I softly begin to place my head back into her shoulder, waiting for the others to awake.
I remember waiting on the edge of the driveway for the school bus. It’s in the middle of winter and very cold. I very quickly run inside to warm my hands up before the arrival of the bus. My hands are extremely numb.
As my mom and I hop into the old blue van and head off to the airport, we begin to take ourselves back in time, talking about life and the many experiences we’ve had along the way; and also laughing as we open up to many memorable and not so memorable moments. As the miles begin to pass, I draw closer to heading off to Basic Training. She begins to express how proud she is of me and my decision making. We make it to the airport and slowly open our doors, making our way to the back to collect my luggage. Standing there, filled with mixed emotions, we embrace saying our goodbyes. Lonely and already feeling home sick, I pick my things up and disappear into the terminal.