Baby’s First Words

Baby’s First Words

From Chicken Soup for the Military Wife's Soul

Baby’s First Words

How hard it must be to miss watching your baby grow up. My husband, a navy pilot, deployed when our daughter Claire was just eight months old. She hadn’t yet crawled, gotten teeth or said her first word, and he had to get used to hearing stories about all her accomplishments.

I know he was afraid that she would forget him when he was gone, so I made it my personal mission to make sure she remembered him. I showed her pictures every day, set Daddy’s face as the screen saver on our computer, even made a doll with Daddy’s face on it. I also put together a video of clips of her with her dad. Claire loved to watch that video and would stare at the screen each time I put it on.

About two months after my husband left, he was able to hook up a videophone to a computer and call us. Claire was sitting in my lap when we began our online messenger chat. Suddenly, my husband’s picture came up on our screen and we heard his voice saying, “Hi!” Claire climbed from my lap, leaned on the desk and reached up to the computer screen. She put both hands where her dad’s face was and said, “Daddy!”

Six thousand miles away, he heard it over the videophone speakers and a huge smile came across his face. Despite the separation from our baby, she hadn’t forgotten him at all. And, thanks to modern technology, he was with us as she spoke her first word.

Sarah Monagle

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