Sometimes you forget how far reaching your words are and how much impact they have.
As some of you know (many of you know her), I have a daughter in the military. She’s a grown woman now, leading her own life, but sometimes she says things that remind me of her young pigtail hair days, a time of years gone by for both of us.
I was speaking with her on the phone and she relayed an incident that happened to her the other day. She, along with her unit, were out on a team building excursion up in the mountains. As it happened, the vehicle they were in ran aground and experienced a flat. This flat, apparently, wasn’t as easy as switching in the spare. They had ended up on terrain that buried the spare tire to the truck they were in. The rear of the truck had positioned itself into an area off the road that buried itself in the ground, making the ability to access the spare almost impossible. As shitty as it sounds, the NCOs who were in other vehicles kept on pushing through and continued on, not stopping to help. Eventually, the group my daughter was with happened to get help from a forest ranger and all was good. Though the incident seems benign, it was what she relayed to me which left me silent and introspective.
She said she told her Sergeant, “I’m not even tripping. I’m going to call my dad. He’ll know what to do.”
I asked her if she was afraid because they were stranded in the mountains. These were her words to me.
“I told everyone my dad has been preparing me for this all my life. We’re good.”
I kind of sat in silence as I allowed the words pour over me. It was at that moment I had a flashback to a picture my friend took of both of us, a younger me with my daughter in my arms on one of my hikes.
As a parent we can only hope some of the life lessons we’ve imparted on our children will have a positive impact on their lives. It’s nice to know when they have.