Sitting in a high school gymnasium at 2:30 a.m is not my perfect friday night, but here I am.
I feel like all I have been doing is waiting. Waiting for the drive to colorado to be over, waiting to hear anything, finally hearing something and waiting until midnight to go to the gym, only to wait some more. That’s thing about the army, they don’t care if they make you wait. All around me women are dressed cute and holding little children. Some have new born babies, some have toddlers attached to their hip and some have several kids running around crazy. This is the only time I have seen so many children out so late.
For good cause.
They will be greeting their moms and dads, some for the first time. My brother, Matt is coming back from his first tour in Afghanistan. He will not be greeted by a cute girlfriend, all he gets us. My parents, little brother, and me. All worn out from the long drive. We are ready for him to be home. My dad received a text from Matt, saying they are pulling onto the base. This is it.
After nine months, he and his fellow soldiers are back. The kids are getting rowdy around me. Directly behind me sat a sweet little family of two boys and one girl. They are not excited. They actually seemed upset that they are here. Strange.
My dad starts making small talk with the mom, asking where they are from (Utah) and who they are waiting for. “We are picking up a friend,’ she replied. “Our dad doesn’t get in for another week.” The oldest boy chimed in angrily. He is probably 5. So that’s why the kids are so upset. All of this and it wasn’t even for their dad. Then I see it. A smile from the mother’s face. We catch eyes for a moment and she glances down at the sign at her daughter’s feet. Her sign read,
” I have no idea, but my dad is coming back today!!!”
Trip up Pike Peak
We spend the rest of the weekend at our favorite spots in Colorado. We hit up Manitou Springs, eat at a cute Marilyn Monroe Pizza place (were I got mistaken as a 17 year old) and play arcade games. We end the trip with a drive up Pike’s Pe
ak. It’s a drive we made once before, many years ago. The first time, my dad drove our three-shades-of-tan suburban with four kids and no air conditioner. My youngest brother was not born yet so this weekend is his first trip. We head up the mountain in my mom’s new honda civic and even though the air conditioner works just fine, we drive with the windows down. My dad experiences the greatness that is Rdio and picks the Eagles to listen to on the way up. These moments feel frozen in time. Forever paused.
The views are spectacular and now I have two great, vastly different memories of driving up Pike’s Peak.