When my dad was an officer in the military, his high ranking required him to wear “dress blues” to certain functions. Oh, how he loved wearing that uniform. He looked important, powerful, and he wore it with great pride - his walk was a little more brisk, his posture straighter, and the snap to salute those he stood before gave him great purpose.
One day, after attending a meeting in his finest military attire, my dad took us to the museum. He was well-read and seemed to be informed on just about everything. The Hunt clan walked from piece to piece as my dad explained the history behind the art. He looked melancholy at times as he described something that appeared to be beautiful, but he spoke with a passion I had never heard from him. To this day, I still believe it was the suit that gave him that confidence - he loved that suit!
As we were leaving the museum, a woman approached my dad and said, “Excuse me sir, can you please tell me what the hours of the museum are tomorrow?”. The woman must have mistaken him as a museum employee as their outfits looked similar. The innocent mix-up quickly brought my dad back down to earth, like a shining star falling from the sky. We didn’t peep a word as we crammed into the car and headed home.
As we turned the corner and exited the parking-lot, my dad broke the silence, “Hey guys, let’s not tell mom about that little incident at the museum, alright?”.
“Sure.” “Alright.” “Okay.” “Already forgotten.” “I won’t.” “Okie dokie.”, the six of us replied. Our words must have gotten caught in the cold winds and carried out to the golden bridge that sat directly below our base.
When we got home, it was a race to get to be the very first to tell my mom what happened to dad at the museum. Because we were all shouting the story at the same time, none of us could individually get in trouble - genius. I wish that we could had seen that unity as a strength, not something to be avoided. Take this as a lesson to be careful what you ask your kids to keep secret.
One day many years ago, my dad took us to the museum wearing his “dress blues”. He may not have known it, but in my mind, he was the strongest, most handsome hero there ever was. I used to think it was the suit, but now I know it’s just who is - and I couldn’t be more proud. Oh, how he loved that suit!
Have a great week. We will talk tomorrow, I’ll bring the coffee. -Ruth