Lisa was sad. The next day was Father’s Day, and her father was far away in another country. And it was already Father’s Day there.
“Why does Dad have to be in the Army?” she asked Mom. “I want him to be home, especially tomorrow. More than anything, I want Dad home on Father’s Day so I can give him a big hug.”
“The Army is Dad’s job right now,” Mom said. “But when he calls today, you can talk to him and tell him how much you miss him. We sent Dad a present three weeks ago. He knows that you love him.”
Then Mom sighed. “I had better take out the trash before fixing lunch. Taking the storm windows down yesterday took so much time that I didn’t take it out before I went to bed.”
Lisa watched Mom pick up the heavy trash container. Dad usually takes out the trash, she thought. He takes the storm windows down, mows the grass, and fixes our car. Mom must wish Dad were home too. There are lots of extra things she has to do that he does when he’s home.
Lisa thought about Dad. “I bet Dad worries about Mom doing everything he would do if he was home,” she said out loud. Then she smiled. Now she knew something special she could do for him today, even though he was far away.
She ran to the cabinet, found the silverware for lunch, placed it on the table, and went to get the plates.
“I can’t use the stove yet, or I would have cooked, too,” she told Mom later, while they were eating.
After lunch, Lisa helped Mom do the dishes. She found the newspaper and brought it for her to read. Then she went upstairs and picked up the toys on her bedroom floor. When the telephone rang, she was carrying her dirty laundry to the hamper in the bathroom.
“Happy Father’s Day!” Lisa cried when she heard her dad’s voice on the telephone. “I miss you, and I wish you were home.” Then she told him about the extra things she’d done to help Mom. “Mom does a lot of your chores every day, so I thought you might like it if I did something special for her as another Father’s Day present.”
“Helping your mother is the best Father’s Day gift you’ve ever given me!” Dad told her. “I have a Father’s Day surprise for you too. Next month, I’ll be coming back to the States. I’ll still be in the Army, but you and Mom can come and live at the Army base with me. Won’t that be fun? We’ll all be together again.”
“I’m saving up a big hug to give Dad the minute he gets home,” Lisa told Mom when she hung up the phone. “And I’ll keep helping you until he gets home, because that will be our real Father’s Day this year.”