A little girl whose soldier father is stationed overseas is anxiously awaiting his return so she asks her mother for a pair of binoculars.
When Alice was six years old, her dad was sent overseas. Like a lot of other dads, Alice's had a job that took him away from home, but his work was very dangerous. Alice's dad was a soldier.
When her dad was away, Alice's house was a lot quieter without his big booming laugh, and her mom was a lot sadder. Alice missed him, and she couldn't wait for him to come home.
Since she was a baby, Alice was always waiting for her dad to come home. | Source: Unsplash
But time went by and dad didn't come home. Alice got more and more worried. "Mommy," she asked. "When is daddy coming home?"
Alice's mom sighed. "Oh, honey," she replied. "I'm not sure. Maybe when we talk to him on Zoom tonight we can ask him, OK?"
So that night, mother and daughter jostled in front of the laptop as a handsome man in fatigues smiled and waved at them. "Daddy!" Alice cried. "When are you coming home?"
Hope is what gives us the strength to live through the pain of separation.
"Hey, baby girl!" Alice's dad said. "You look so pretty! How was school?"
Alice jumped up and down on the chair impatiently. "It was fine daddy!" she said. "But you didn't answer my question! When are you coming home?"
Alice's mom told her she'd have to be patient. | Source: Unsplash
"Sweetheart," Alice's dad said gently. "I don't know yet..."
Alice burst into tears. "But I want you here for my birthday!" she sobbed.
Alice's mom put her arm around her daughter. "Sweetie," she said gently. "Your birthday is still six months away. Let's just see what happens..."
"But I want daddy to come home!" Alice shouted angrily, and her father, watching from halfway around the world, looked very sad indeed.
"Baby girl," he said. "You know if I could be there with you and mommy right now, I would be."
Alice was always at the window, watching for her daddy. | Source: Unsplash
"Then why aren't you?" asked Alice, pouting.
"Because I have a job to do," daddy said. "You'll find out when you grow up that sometimes we have to do what we have to do -- even when we'd rather be home with our family."
But by now Alice was too upset and too sleepy (it was VERY late when they Zoomed daddy once a week) and she didn't listen. Alice's mom said goodbye to dad and sent him a big kiss.
Then she took Alice up to her room and tucked her into bed where Alice started crying again. "I'm sorry I shouted at daddy," she said. "I just miss him so much..."
"I know you do," Alice's mom said gently. "And he does too. Why don't you pray for daddy, and all his friends? And we'll pray that daddy comes home as soon as he can..."
Alice's mom gave her some cool binoculars. | Source: Unsplash
Time goes by very slowly when you are waiting for someone you love to come home, and waiting is particularly hard for children. For them, time unreels slowly, endlessly.
For Alice, every day felt like a week, every week like a whole month. She would often sit at the upstairs window for hours and look at the road. "Alice," mom asked. "What are you doing there?"
"This is where you can see the furthest away," Alice explained. "I want to be the first to see daddy when he comes home."
"I have an idea!" Alice's mom cried. She went up into the attic, and a while later, she came back with a dusty black box. She opened the box and took out a pair of old binoculars.
"Look!" Alice's mom said. "With these binoculars, you can see even further away! These belonged to your dad when he was a kid like you. He used it to birdwatch..."
Alice was watching the road during the party. | Source: Pexels
"And I can use it to daddy-watch!" cried Alice excitedly. "THANKS, MOM!"
From then on, every afternoon, Alice would sit by the window and scan the road and the horizon for her dad. Somehow time sped up and before she knew it, it was her birthday.
"Is daddy coming?" Alice asked her mom, who just looked sad, and said she didn't know. Alice's birthday finally arrived and the house was full of guests and cake and goodies.
But where was Alice? Alice was upstairs at the window, with her binoculars trained on the road, watching for her daddy. "Come down, Alice," her mom said gently. "Your friends are waiting."
Alice looked at her mom. "Please, mom!" she begged. "Just five more minutes!"
Alice knew the man on the hill was her father. | Source: Pexels
Alice's mom saw the look in her daughter's eyes and sighed. "Five more minutes," she agreed.
Alice picked up her binoculars again and trained them on the road. Wait... What was that? There was a man walking on the road at the top of the hill... A man in uniform...
Alice screamed. "MOM! MOM! It's Daddy!" Her mother came running, but suddenly, the man on the road turned and walked away again. "He's gone!" Alice cried.
"Why did he go away again?" she sobbed, and her mother picked up the binoculars and looked through them. A big smile split her face and she handed the binoculars back to her daughter.
"Take a look, Alice!" she said.
It was Alice's best birthday ever. | Source: Unsplash
Alice grabbed the binoculars and saw that there were TWO men on the crest of the hill. One of them was her daddy, and they were holding up a big banner that read: "HAPPY BIRTHDAY ALICE! DADDY'S HOME!"
It was the best birthday Alice had ever had, especially when her daddy told her that he was home to stay.
What can we learn from this story?
Share this story with your friends. It might brighten their day and inspire them.
If you enjoyed this story, you might like this one about a man who buys an old flag at a yard sale, then drives halfway around the country to give it back to its rightful owner.
This account is inspired by our reader’s story and written by a professional writer. Any resemblance to actual names or locations is purely coincidental. All images are for illustration purposes only. Share your story with us; maybe it will change someone’s life. If you would like to share your story, please send it to email@example.com