Sunday, August 21, 2011

Going Home

Well our daughter is home. She had been away at a 2 week General Training Camp at CFB Trenton as part of her Royal Canadian Air Cadet training. Friday evening the family converged on Trenton to watch her graduation parade. I drove up with the boy and my wife drove down from her parents (she was there visiting). We positioned ourselves around the parade square to watch the festivities. We saw many cadets "gingerly" walking around - obviously due to an abundance of blisters from two weeks of "drill" training.

During the march past we caught a glimpse of our daughter (there was over 500 cadets graduating), she looked great (in comparison to some of the other cadets from her squadron). She was tanned and looking fit but obviously a little tired.

The graduation went well, however; darkness soon fell and it was hard to see the ceremonial honor guard demonstration. But the muzzle flashes were awesome. They did their routine to music provided by the RCAC summer band. Excellent job by both groups. The graduation ended about 9:30pm, I said goodbye to my wife and boy. They were driving back home (about 3.5 hours - ETA about 1:00am) because my wife had to work in the morning.

Off to my room, my x-wife's husband was an officer in charge of the senior camps, he got me a room at the on base accomodations called the Yukon Lodge. Yes it's bizarre, but if even a small percentage of family break ups ended like mine did, there wouldn't be as much issue with society these days especially around child issues.

Any way, the plan was to pick up my daughter in the morning. give her the evening to say, "good bye" to new friends, party it up. Within an hour or so of getting back to my room I got a call from my daughter, she was crying, "come get me, I don't want to stay." My first thought was "post traumatic stress syndrome" - PSD. She was only away for 2 weeks! I got dressed and headed down to the camp area. When she saw me she actually ran over and initiated a hug. I am usually the one doing that, especially when I drop her off at school. She explains, "all my friends are leaving tonight, I am the only person that is going to be in my barracks." So off we go, to fill out some papers, have her confiscated items returned (aerosol bug repellant - all of the kids had one thing or another confiscated).

She is free, we walk back to my car and head the 2Km back to my room. She was in heaven, a car ride, it was the 2Km ride she would march 6 times a day back and forth to the mess hall. In the room she grabbed my iphone and updated her Facebook page with 8 pages of new friends (that was 8 school notebook pages of new friends). She had a hot shower without wearing flip flops for fear of athletes foot and she slept in a bed and not a bunk. Maybe if all of the kids that are out there, seamingly content in their entitlement (my daughter has no illusion that she is entitled to anything but it was nice to see the joy she received from just some of the basic services we take for granted) spent 2 weeks at Cadet Camp, the world would be a better place.

OMG - next morning - up at 6:40am, I told her we could sleep in. Nope - she didn't want to miss breakfast. We marched our 80 yards to the mess hall. Ate and then bussed our trays. I was going to put it in the rack about half way up. "No", she said. "Start at the bottom." As we left she saw the halo of light eminating from the mess hall restrooms. I read the sign, "No cadets on summer training permitted to enter." She states, "I am using this restroom, I am no longer on summer training." Ah, my girl - marking her territory.

The trip home - used my iphone to simultaneously have 15 text message comversations, sleeping most of the time while drooling on my phone (she had it on her shoulder since I forgot my headphones) while listening to "HER" music on either my iPhone or the car radio.

Glad she is back. When does school start again?

As an aside, she was very eager to show me her camp report card and to show me the certificate she received stating that her and the rest of her barracks won the - "Most Orderly Barracks" award.

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