“Some dads wear suits, my dad wears combat boots.”
I am the daughter of an army officer and I’m proud of it. I have spent 14 years of my life shifting to new places, meeting new people, changing schools, going to parties and making new friends. It was hard at first, going to a new place and not knowing anyone but I managed to settle in. From the time I started going to school, I have changed around 7 schools. Yes, I know, a lot of schools must be tough. It was. But it was also fun.
Trust me it is. You get used to it after a while. When you change a school, you get to be an entirely new person. They don’t know you, who you are, who you were, what you like, what you dislike. Nothing. You can have an entirely new persona. Change everything. You can be someone who never existed, learn from your mistakes, relive everything and rediscover yourself.
And that does not mean you are being fake. It simply means that you are learning from all the mistakes you did, everything. It is a chance to set everything right. It’s fun.
And as for changing states, you get to meet new people, see new things, cultures, make new friends, and by the end, you have a whole lot of friends. It feels good. I have stayed in a cantonment for most of my life and I have always loved it. You have people who understand you and know what you are going through. I am so thankful for this privileged life. But that’s not the only thing. Army life is tough. It affects the whole family. The one fear that resides in every army child’s heart is the moment when the father tells them that they have got a field posting. I am proud that our army works day and night to protect us and I am proud of my father who loves his country more than anything. He is the bravest man I have ever met. Every army man is.
My dad got a field posting this year and before he went, I (being the eldest daughter) decided to take care of my family. He wasn’t able to come for my 14th birthday this year. I was glum but I put a smile on my face and knew that if dad could have he would definitely have come but circumstances didn’t allow. But that’s ok, at least he was there for my 13th birthday. My sister and I would pretend that dad had gone to office, after which he went straight to a party and came back after we dosed off, and went to office in the morning before we woke up.
When it comes to coping, it's my mother who does a great job. She doesn’t let anyone know how she feels and she keeps a brave face for us. I love my dad for what he does, and I take pride is saying that I am a fauji’s kid. But every time I shift to a new school, I know that it would last just 2 years till we are off again. Even though the sadness of leaving my friends does linger, the excitement of meeting new ones balances it.
The quote I lived by and still do, is “If you are brave enough to say goodbye, life will reward you with a new hello”.
I have experienced that in each place I have been to. It is hard being away from your father for long when you are used to being hugged by him, eating dinner with him, making jokes, and having him around the house all the time.
I miss him.