A reader writes:
That video reminded me of a story my mother has told me many times over the years. My father was sent to Vietnam a month after I was born. He returned a year later. As you can imagine, he was very excited to see the baby whose first year of life he completely missed (no Skype or e-mail during that war). When he went to my crib to pick me up, I had no idea who he was, so instead of the hugs and kisses that this father received, he received something else entirely. I cried, hit him with my baby fists, and did all I could to get away from him. I cannot imagine what that must have felt like for him.
My mother also tells me that the stress of their separation took its toll on her in myriad waysmostly notably, she stopped being able to produce milk so couldn’t breastfeed me. War is terrible on so many, many levels, and when I see that little girl’s tears, I wonder how many she shed while her dad was away and how stressful his absence must be for her other parent.
You bastard. I hadn't seen the video yet. I clicked through on the strength of this post and I had to scoop up my 10-month-old daughter and hold her and weep loudly. Thank God I'm at home.
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