Made the good choice of taking the family out to Camp Aldershot a few weeks back for their open house. Aldershot, apparently more properly known as "Land Force Atlantic Area Training Centre Aldershot", is, they say, is a training facility for Land Force Atlantic Area of Canadian Forces Land Force Command. And to think I always thought of it as just our local Army base.
Anyway, the open house was a good day, with a lot of interesting stuff to see and after four hours we still hadn't got through it all. But what turned out to be one of the most interesting parts came at the very end of the day when we reached the Cadet area.
Army Cadets and Air Cadets, take your pick. Not much of a choice really, given that when we walked through the Army Cadet area no one even spoke to us as opposed to going through the Air Cadets, where I was really blown away by these kids. They were so excited about what they were doing that they literally beamed. At every table, my youngest was asked the same question "How old are you?" immediately followed hard on her answer with the excited "Did you know you are old enough to be an Air Cadet?". Well, let's just say that if she didn't, she figured it out pretty quick.
Add that enthusiasm to the fact that the first thing the girls were offered to do when they walked in the drill hall was fire a rifle and, yeah, you guessed it ... I am now the proud parent of an Air Cadet.
Well, perhaps more accurately, the proud, frustrated, amused parent of an Air Cadet. Frustrated because she is so excited and hyped each week when she gets home from Cadets, that it's quite a struggle to get her to bed. No matter how often I remind her how late it is and that she does have school tomorrow. And frustrated and amused to see her try to polish boots for the very first time. To a military shine, no less. Practice makes perfect or so they say and for her sake, I hope they're right. And, I must admit, quite proud the first time I saw her in her uniform (the summer dress version with the shirt and tie).
But tonight, for the first time, I saw her in her winter uniform. Blue pants, blue sweater, blue belted jacket, blue parka, blue wedge. Now I am pretty well accustomed to the ribbing the Air Force takes from the Navy, not the least of which involves them being *fondly* referred to as "bus drivers". But tonight when I stepped back and took a critical look at my daughter, I couldn't help but burst out laughing.
She did. She really did look for all the world like a bus driver. I could swear I've seen that uniform (minus the wedge, of course) on some local transit workers.
My daughter. The bus driver. Just how much prouder could a mother's heart be?